“Giving back started the moment I asked my 7 year old self, ‘What can I do about the problems that I see?'”
- Hannah Z.
What Started It All
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?
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.