Students from kindergarten to grade 12 are being given the opportunity to explore the meaning of compassion—through art.
“Though you can use a lot of words to describe compassion, by putting it into art, art adds value to words and art goes deeper than words,” says James Heiks, the district’s fine arts coordinator.
Since the fall, 10,436 students from Appleton, Wisconsin, taking part in The Appleton Compassion Project have met to discuss what compassion is and what it means to them. “It really causes students to dig deep and discover for the first time how compassion is a part of their lives,” says Heiks.
Richard Davidson, Phd, a brain researcher at the University of Wisconsin, created the project because he’s found a healthier brain is linked to practicing compassion.
Students have a six inch by six inch artist panel to express their ideas about compassion. They use mixed media on the panels, including pencil crayons, clay, paint and friendship bracelets. The students's completed work will be exhibited at the Trout Museum in Appleton through May and June.
The project is a joint effort initiative with Appleton Area School District, the Trout Museum of Art and the Appleton Education Foundation.
Watch a short video about the project: