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Mixing art with service: Arts for Hearts Club allows students to explore creative passions

Photo credit: Lili Franks
A child paints at an Alexandria House event, to which Arts for Hearts donated art. Junior Lili Franks founded Arts for Hearts, a club geared towards mixing art with service.

Archer is home to many student-led clubs. Among them is Junior Lili Franks’ Arts for Hearts, a club for students to share and create art together that she founded her sophomore year. Arts for Hearts also incorporates service into its mission by donating art made by club members to charities across LA.

Franks said the mission of her club is to both inspire others to find a passion for service and share her love for art with others — whether it’s music, ceramics or photography. The club hosts one event per semester, where Arts for Hearts members raise money for service-oriented charities through art donations.

One organization that Arts for Hearts has worked with is Alexandria House, which Franks has collaborated with since the summer before her sophomore year. According to their website, Alexandria House’s mission is to provide safe and supportive housing for women and children experiencing homelessness and trauma in Los Angeles. The organization encourages people to donate gently used items, such as books and clothes, to help their cause. Members of Arts for Hearts have donated art they created.

Additionally, Franks helps run Homescreens, a nonprofit dedicated to giving people experiencing homelessness access to mental health services. Arts for Hearts collaborated with both organizations to host an event in December 2023, where kids explored different mediums of art at a workshop.

“We brought in air-dried clay, watercolors, markers and acrylic paint,” Franks said. “We also opened it up with some questions about themselves … about how they’re feeling, which can open a conversation and let them express themselves.”

Arts for Hearts member Emily Levine (’25) said that the thing she loves most about being a part of Franks’ club is its versatility.  She also said how she enjoys the club’s ability to promote different mediums of art.

“We all have the same interests in art, whether it’s visual arts, photography or film,” Levine said. “I think it’s cool that there are people that really enjoy art but also really enjoy service.”

Franks said she used to be on Archer’s Service Squad, and service is something that makes her feel good about herself. These are two reasons why she decided to incorporate service into her club.

“I knew a lot of people who wanted to get involved with service but didn’t know where to start,” Franks said. “So I thought it’d be [fun] to make a club, so it would be an easy way to start your service journey.”

Junior Olive Poulos takes Archer’s advanced film elective and is a member of Arts for Hearts. She volunteers at the West Los Angeles Animal Shelter outside of school and said she likes being able to suggest organizations for the club to work with. Poulos said her favorite part of putting on events with the club is watching it influence others.

“I think it’s just seeing the impact,” Poulos said. “With the Alexandria House, seeing the people there being able to have a new activity to do and find a passion for something is great.”

Franks said having a club at Archer has been an amazing experience because she enjoys connecting with other students. She offered advice to students interested in starting their own club at Archer, highlighting what the most important aspect of sustaining a club is.

“Make sure it’s something that you’re passionate about,” Franks said. “I knew I was really passionate about art, and I knew that I was very passionate about service. So after starting the club, I felt pretty confident that this was something that was going to stay for the long run.” 

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About the Contributor
Uma Nambiar, Staff Reporter
Uma Nambiar joined the Oracle in 2023 as a Staff Reporter. She is an avid reader and writer as well as being in the Unaccompanied Minors, Archer's acapella group. In her free time, you can find Uma reading, writing, and obsessing over rom-coms.

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