“Giving back started the moment I asked my 7 year old self, ‘What can I do about the problems that I see?'” -Hannah Z.
Painting since age 6, art has always been Hannah Z.’s first love. She loved art so much that she asked to start private art lessons. But, after attending only a few classes, Hannah Z. abruptly requested to stop as quickly as she had begun.
This was confusing to her mother who had watched her daughter go from loving art to not wanting to pick up a paintbrush – until Hannah Z. expressed the reason why.
She explained that a few children had come to look in on her art lesson through the windows of the art studio. When Hannah Z. inquired about the children, her art teacher said that they watch from the windows because they cannot afford private art lessons. Being the inquisitive seven-year old that she was, Hannah Z. asked her art teacher why didn’t she just give them art classes for free. What Hannah Z. was not expecting from her art teacher. “I don’t do free.”
Those four simple words upset Hannah Z. to the point of losing the joy and happiness she felt when she created new art. But it also created a passion for her to set out to find someone who could help those children and any others when a future adult mentor and fellow artist put before her a simple question, why couldn’t she do something about it herself?
Art Squared, formally known as Art 4 All, provides free art education to children and schools who have underfunded art programs throughout the Southeast by means of art classes, camps and artist mentoring.
Art Squared has touched the lives of over 20,000 children since 2010.
Hannah Z.’s Art Activist Accomplishments
Closing Speaker for International Children’s Art Festival
Hannah Z. quickly gained momentum for her nonprofit work for free art education after opening her first Art Squared location and was invited to participate as a speaker for the International Children’s Art Festival in Washington, D.C. where at age 9, she not only gave a heartfelt plea to help keep art education in schools, but Hannah Z. also met with political leaders and provided workshops to adults on how to use cost effective ways to teach art to children.
Commendations for Free Art Educations Advocate
Hannah Z. continues to an outspoken advocate for free art education by continuing to run Art Squared and hosting traveling art tours to raise art education awareness, and has received many awards and commendations from various corporations such a Kohls and from local and national leaders such as governors, state and US senators, mayors along with countless celebrities such as Paula Deen and other business leaders.
Painting for The Pancreas
In 2012, another cause struck close to Hannah Z.’s heart. She lost her grandfather to Pancreatic Cancer that February. After doing extensive research and finding out not only just how deadly Pancreatic Cancer is, but also how underfunded it is, Hannah knew that she wanted to become a part of finding a cure.
Walton Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research
Hannah Z. once again used her skills to create the Walton Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research. Through special art and fashion fundraisers held throughout the month of November for National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month, Hannah Z. raises money for Pancreatic Cancer Research.