The Memory Project at Cooper High School

Art students at Cooper High School took on a very powerful art project. Students received photos of Syrian child refugees and created a realistic portrait in any medium for the child. The art students learned how art can act as a megaphone for the social injustices and the needs in our community.  Students began promoting this issue through social media and through gallery at school. As a result, students gained compassion and advocated for the needs of Syrian refugees.

Art students at Cooper High School participated in this project through The Memory Project.

The Memory Project is a charitable nonprofit organization that invites art teachers and their students to create and donate portraits to youth around the world who have faced substantial challenges, such as violence, disasters, extreme poverty, neglect, and loss of parents.

They want the portraits to help the children feel valued and important, to know that many people care about their well being, and to act as meaningful pieces of personal history in the future. For the art students, we want this to be an opportunity to creatively practice kindness and global awareness.

To do this, The Memory Project receives photos of children and teens from global charities operating residential homes, schools, and care centers in a number of different countries every year.

Then they provide our participating art teachers with full-page color prints as well as digital copies of those photos, along with plastic sleeves to protect the finished portraits. The art teachers then work with their students to create the portraits, and we hand-deliver them to the kids.  We always try to have several different portraits for each child, created by different art students and based on different poses.

Finally, The Memory Project makes a video of each delivery to share with all of the art students and teachers involved. Since 2004 they have created more than 100,000 portraits for children in 43 countries.  For more information, check out their FAQs.