The I AM: International Foundation functions as a resource for schools, community groups, and non-governm ent org anizations who work with disadva ntaged children and/or children living in dens ely populated regions of the world. Groups who participate in our programs are those who may not have the skills, staffing, materials, and/or resources to incorporate creativity and personal expression into their curriculum.
After applying for and being accepted for an I AM: Project, groups work closely with the foundation to tailor a series of workshops that are appropriate for the age, number, and developmental level of the participating children. Based on the idea of the self-portrait, children are encouraged to create expressive artworks using a variety of media, including photography, drawing, painting, and mixed media over a three to four day period. This length of time allows for meaningful relationships to develop and for children to feel comfortable expressing themselves in a variety of ways. In addition to art making, the workshops include elements of song, dance, play, movement, and slide shows that center around the notion of individuality.
Upon completion of the workshop series, each child receives an 8×12” professionally printed self-portrait photograph. The drawings and other artworks created by the children are offered to the foundation as a gift of exchange. These artworks will go on to appear in international exhibitions, allowing the voice of each child to be heard across many miles and endure over time.
DIRECTOR & FOUNDER
Sasha Sicurella is a Canadian-born arts education specialist who founded the I AM: International Foundation in 2010. As the Director of Education at Omi International Arts Center in New York State, Sicurella is inspired by the influx of artists, writers, musicians, and dancers who attend residency programs at the center from around the world each year.
Recognizing the need for all children to have the right to creative, individualized experiences, and the potential for cross- cultural enrichment for her own students, Sicurella embarked on the mission to bring meaningful art making to underprivileged children on a global scale.
Educated in visual arts and photography, Sicurella received her MFA from New York University in 2002. She taught art to students ages 3-18 in both public and independent American school systems and continues to develop arts enrichment programs at local schools in her community. She lives and works in the small New England town of Lenox, Massachusetts.