Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona
Versant Capital Management, Inc.
Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona’s mission is to transform children’s trauma into resilience through the arts, working specifically with abused infants, children and young adults living in a foster care group home, homeless shelter, or residential treatment facility. Free Arts’ trauma-informed programming connects youth with mentors and, through art experiences, helps create healthy outlets for emotional expression. This results in increased self-confidence, development of life skills and the ability to develop trusting relationships with adults.
Free Arts’ mission resonates with Elizabeth Shabaker because mentoring literally saved her life. At 14 years old, she was homeless, but with the help of mentors, she explored her aptitude for math and eventually went on to graduate college and pursue a career in the financial sector. Elizabeth first became involved with the organization in 2013 as a member of the fundraising committee and, soon after, was asked to join the board. Over the past eight years, Elizabeth has chaired capital campaigns, helped to establish a planned giving program, secured a $2.5M grant and served as board president. Elizabeth works tirelessly with Free Arts to ensure that vulnerable children in her community can access creative outlets for self-expression and feel safe so they can grow up and lead fulfilling, meaningful lives.