Recognizing that creativity and beauty are powerful agents for healing and change, Barefoot Artists works with poor communities around the globe practicing the arts to bring healing, self-empowerment and social change. Current Barefoot Artists projects are informed by our past work at The Village of Arts and Humanities in North Philadelphia, PA between 1986 – 2004 and from a series of international projects between 1994 – 2003.
The Village began in 1986 as a park-building project by Philadelphia-based artist Lily Yeh. With a group of North Philadelphia residents, mostly children, she cleared a trash strewn vacant lot and began to build an art park that incorporated mosaic sculptures, murals, and landscaping with trees and flowers. Over the next few years, Yeh’s project was joined by artists, builders, educators and a growing number of community residents caught up in the vision of creating a sub-community dedicated to cooperative interaction and creativity.
Barefoot Artists brings the transformative power of art to the most impoverished communities in the world through participatory and multifaceted projects that foster community empowerment, improve the physical environment, promote economic development, and preserve and support indigenous art and culture.
Barefoot Artists develops projects in collaboration with individuals and agencies on the ground in identified communities.