but on how much you love it".
the world differently.
to believe in themselves"
About the Foundation
The mission of the The Autumn de Forest Foundation is to foster and promote the power of artistic self-expression as a means for young people to activate their voices, achieve greater self-esteem, tap in to their creativity and experience self-empowerment.
Autumn is a thought leader and arts ambassador – greeting children, youth and millennial peers all over the country and world. Autumn herself is a living example of the power of creativity to make a positive impact in the world. Her foundation provides her with a larger frame from with which to make a contribution and give back.
Autumn’s larger vision is to develop programming and initiatives that get more young people making art and moving those activities forward to demonstrate the entrepreneurial possibilities with creative output. As well, Autumn is working on her own concepts to create original content that can be shared through social channels and media that educate on topics of art and creativity.
The Foundation’s marquee initiative – [Face Values] – demonstrates the fertile positive takeaways that result when young people explore expressing themselves creatively and the magical effects that ripple throughout one’s life.
With a big heart and the guidance of her parents, Autumn has sought to find ways to give back from an early age. Now 17, Autumn has developed a strong social conscience. Autumn is leveraging her opportunities, reputation and standing to foster positive change in the world. This has included her participation in a variety of activities in her travels, often greeting children and youth to talk about art, her story and the power of creativity. She has appeared on television, at K-12 schools in multiple states, at Harvard and in forums like the Kennedy Center.
Since she was a child Autumn has donated paintings and lent her time and likeness to many charitable causes including:
~ Boston bombing
~ Haiti relief
~ Hurricane Sandy
~ Parkland School
~ San Bernardino School
~ Las Vegas Bombing
Autumn created a series of original signage for the marches around gun violence in schools and was present in D.C. in March 2018.
Autumn appreciates the many and unique opportunities afforded her; her foundation is her vehicle to advance her Philanthropic goals, give back even more, reach more young people, and have a real impact.
She is sensitive to the many challenges her generation faces today and will continue to be vigilant to help make a positive difference in the world through her art and her philanthropic efforts.
Autumn de Forest has been a professional painter and artist since the age of 6.
By 8 years old she was acknowledged as a world renown child prodigy. She has appeared on television over 150 times. Now, aged 17 and in her 2nd decade professionally, Autumn has a body of work and achievements that are unique to someone her age. These include being the youngest artist ever appointed to the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities (age 14) and a member of Michelle Obama’s initiative Turn Around Arts. She has presented Pope Francis a painting made for him in a public meeting at the Vatican after receiving the Sciacci award in Rome. That painting now resides in the Vatican Museum making her the first American painter in over 50 years to accomplish this feat. Autumn is the youngest artist to have a solo exhibit at a major American Museum, The Butler Museum of American Art. She has appeared at Art Basel Miami, and recently was commissioned to create a giant wall mural in the Wynwood Arts District of Miami (fall 2018). She has appeared all over the country and world sharing her art.
[Face Values] An Initiative of the Autumn de Forest Foundation
[Face Values] is a philanthropic initiative that has grown out of Autumn’s work in her capacity as a member of Turn Around Arts and her role as the youngest ever artist appointed to the President’s Committee on The Arts and Humanities.
Autumn takes children and youth, often from socio-economically challenged communities, through an ‘epiphany experience’ as they participate in creating an actual painting – a self-portrait.
Autumn has conducted this activity countless times – it has taken her from Brooklyn to San Bernardino and from Miami to Minnesota. Many of these works could hang in galleries or museums – the range of output from these young art makers harkens to notable painters like Matisse, Basquiat and Picasso. These self-portraits become the faces of a generation – urgent and heartfelt.
Not only do these young people often lack the opportunities and resources to do creative projects at home, they often lack opportunities in their schools and communities.
Autumn believes deeply in the importance of nurturing creativity and self-expression. She believes that we live in a time when imagination and creativity have never been more valued or more needed. No one should be limited and impeded in developing their creative voice and bringing their imagination to life because of racial discrimination or economic scarcity. Why should creative opportunity be gerrymandered? Talent and creativity transcend race, creed and economic standing. Autumn believes every young person should have the opportunity to create and self-express.
Autumn has created a system by which, within an hour, each and every participant creates their own self-portrait. Her system consists of tools of her trade and advanced techniques which she has re-packaged into an accessible and engaging activity that allows each student to create a striking likeness of themselves on a 24X18 inch canvas, which is theirs to keep. Utilizing a combination of paints, brushes unconventional tools and technology, these students learn that there’s no such thing as a creative mistake and no such thing as creative perfection. They learn that creativity by its very nature ‘is’ perfection – that their creative choices are what differentiate them from everyone else in this world.
Incredible things happen when a young person creates something themselves, when they discover their previously unknown ability to create. The [Face Values] initiative is a paint on canvas activity; but one doesn’t need to put oil on canvas or watercolor on paper to find a creative voice. These art pieces become metaphors for believing in oneself. Autumn demonstrates to young people she visits that the most powerful creative message is “I am”.
Incredible things happen when young people are inspired by someone they feel is a peer, who has expressed appreciation and recognition for what they do. The greatest gift Autumn gives to those with less is the gift of showing them they are appreciated and recognized. Her intention is to help generate empowering moments that can ripple outward to positively affect their futures and lives.
Class visits are wonderful but how can a self-portrait created in an hour be leveraged to continue to motivate and inspire young people long after this activity or workshop comes to an end?
Autumn’s vision is designed not only to create self-portraits but to create professional artists in real-time.
She achieves this vision by creating an online marketplace where the artworks that have been created in the workshops are accessible through a range of products to buyers everywhere, from affordable calendars and coffee mugs to high end framed art prints. This range of products serves to address everyone from aunts and uncles to serious art collectors who believe that some of the most poignant and most meaningful expressions of creativity come from the purity of young people and the challenges of adversity.
The Autumn de Forest Foundation engages with a network of partnerships that include product fulfillment, financial services, technology solutions and back-end infrastructure and logistics. Interested buyers will be able to visit an etsy-style online market place that will have a dedicated page for each and every participant with the images they have created. Links to products across a wide range of price points will be available and fulfilled directly from project partners. All funds generated that are not part of costs to generate product and ship – will be directly deposited into a 529 college savings account donated and managed by financial services partners. These accounts can accumulate funds over time that can contribute to the future education of these young creators.
The Autumn De Forest Foundation relies on the generosity and support of donations.
If you believe in the importance of cultivating the voices of young people and the power of creativity and self-expression, then you are aligned with our mission and vision. Because Autumn has been an active painter and artist since the age of 6, (now 17), she focuses on young people but her message is universal.
Everyone’s voice should matter. Everyone can find a way to tap into their own creativity and become empowered to be their best self and participate and contribute to the betterment of our world.
As a 501(c)3 non-profit all donations are tax deductible. We offer thanks ahead for all contributions at all levels.
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