ElevArte Recognizes Its Youngest Philanthropist

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

By: Ashmar Mandou

This week, ElevArte Community Studio honored three individuals at its annual Art As Our First Language spring benefit Thursday evening with the Deep Roots Award. Among the honorees was 10 year-old Yitlali Morfin, the youngest philanthropist honored at the event. As a participant in ElevArte’s free art programs, Morfin developed skills as a circus arts performer and clay artist. Morfin dedicates her time to generating donations by traveling from classroom to classroom at her school to help support ElevArte’s free programs.

“Our programs continue to build the leadership skills that young citizens need to succeed as the next generation of artists and art leaders,” said Giselle Mercier, ElevArte’s executive director. “It is crucial for these programs to have a robust future and for the community to be informed of their positive impact.” The Deep Roots Award is an opportunity to honor ElevArte’s community members, like Morfin, who have helped the organization. The annual benefit took place at Chicago Urban Art Society. Prior to the event we spoke to young philanthropist Morfin about her experiences at ElevArte.

LN: What do you enjoy the most about your experience at ElevArte Community Studio?
YM: I like having fun doing tricks I thought I could never do in Kids Circus. In clay class I love creating things with my hands plus getting dirty!

LN: What do you do in the program?
YM: In clay class I have learned to create sculptures and use the pottery wheel. I still have to practice a little more with the pottery wheel. In Kids Circus I have learned to juggle, walk on stilts and act in front of audiences, something I thought I could never do.

LN: I read that you travel from classroom to classroom performing in order to help raise donations. What is that important to you?
YM: It’s important to me to collect donations because I can help to continue free classes to other children.

LN: How has ElevArte affected your life?

YM: ElevArte has affected me in a positive way. I used to be very shy and Douglas, my Kids Circus teacher, has helped me to gain confidence and always stand out not just to the audience, but in life.

LN: What does it mean to you to continue to have free programs at ElevArte?
YM: It means I have the opportunity to continue learning about art and performing. Also, I really want other children to have the same opportunities I have had at ElevArte.

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