Mission Statement

(501(c)(3) status in-the-works)
Mission:  Big Picture Foundation will empower middle and high school age children to use the arts to create an interactive global community by exchanging art projects online. Children will also have opportunities to make art to help global children’s charities. 1. Children will use the arts to communicate with other national and international groups of children in order to make friends, build networks, and learn about world cultures.  2. Children will use the arts to help other children by request or when unusual emergency situations arise.  3. Children will build their understanding of current events, geography, politics, and contemporary art that addresses global social issues.
  1. Children will use the arts to communicate with other groups of national and international children:  Every matched group will have a blog page, where they can post pictures and videos and where they can write to each other.
  2. Children will use the arts to help other children when problems arise from natural disasters, wars, or other unusual emergency situations:  Children will create new projects or join established projects to accomplish goals.  Children could knit hats for children who have lost homes in natural disasters.  Children could organize concerts or plays that raise funds to enable Big Picture Foundation endeavors. Children could sell their art to raise funds for programs that help children in need.
  3. Children will learn about world cultures, current events, geography, politics, and global social issues:  Participants will identify their partner group’s geographical location on a map.  Groups will ask each other questions to learn from each other. The Big Picture Projects’ website will include a world news blog, updates about past, current and future projects, and a section about artists who use art to draw attention to social issues.  Kids (and eventually supporting members) will have access to an event series, including lectures, studio visits, and workshops.
Who can join?   All interested children will have opportunities to connect with children from different locations. In many cases, children will take the initiative to start projects.  They will define their projects, organize their work time, and communicate with partner groups under the supervision of their chosen adult advisors.  While children may initiate the projects, a range of established art initiatives will enable global youth to connect with each other and to collaborate on art related endeavors.  Classroom art exchanges, youth initiated projects, charitable community events, and one-on-one interactions between children of different backgrounds will develop compassionate world citizens and will connect international communities. Why join?  Big Picture Foundation will create a free and easy system to enable children’s art exchanges, children’s global communication, children’s art outreach endeavors and other related activities.  Also, Big Picture Foundation will offer an exciting incentive program to encourage children’s efforts. Where in the world will kids work on projects?  Everywhere!  Actual projects will happen wherever a national or international group initiates activity. Children, teachers, parents, administrators, camp counselors, and community leaders can all start group projects. Projects may develop at school, around the kitchen table, at a library, or wherever else space and supervision exist.  However, at a central power hub, a core group of junior officers will have specific responsibilities.  They will oversee Big Picture Foundation’ worldwide activity under adult guidance.


Using art to develop collaborative world citizens and creative problem solvers.


A variety of projects and programs will offer interested children a range of options for involvement.  Children will have opportunities to join existing project, start new projects, or attend special events. Big Picture Projects Friend Link Program– The Friend Link program will directly match English speaking middle and high school children with children who have not yet gained proficiency in English, including refugees.  The buddies will arrange art “play dates” that will range from working on Big Picture Foundation exchange projects to spending afternoons going to art shows and out to lunch. Performance Program – Budding musicians, aspiring actors, cantankerous comics, and junior promoters will be welcome to arrange community performances to benefit foundation programs. Big Picture Group Exchange Projects – Any supervised group of children will be able to make art to exchange with any other group of children. The projects do not need to be the same from both groups.  The nature of project will depend on groups’ goals and interests.  Some projects may develop as tools for children to understand each other’s cultures.  Other projects might simply offer fun ways for groups of kids to connect (middle school boys asked if they could exchange paper airplanes and self-made fidget toys with kids in other countries… great!).
  • New Exchange Projects…
  1. Zombie Apocalypse Movies….  Initiated by an eighth grade student in Rye, groups of kids from all over the world are challenged to make home movies with the “zombie apocalypse” theme.
  2. Computer animation shorts, with the theme: “Through the Portal.”
  3. Song Writing and Singing, with the theme:  The best things in my life.
  4. “Magical Forest” themed drawings, paintings, or 2d art of your choice of media.
  5. 3d Robot Sculptures:  They don’t have to work.
  • Future exchange projects that will happen when we have a budget for sending art… 
  1. Origami Cranes – Learning/Networking Project – A teacher in my district would like to lead a paper crane exchange between children in Rye and children at a school in Japan
  2. Paper Airplanes and Fidget Toys – Learning/Networking Project – A bunch of 13 year old boys want to make paper airplanes and fidget toys for kids in refugee camps.  They hope to receive airplanes in return.
  3. Group Blogs – Each group will have an assigned blog page, where the kids will summarize intended and achieved activities.
Big Picture Outreach Projects – Outreach initiatives might also include exchanging projects. Outreach might also be a single group’s efforts to help children in critical need or a group project to support charities that help kids.
  • Current Outreach Projects…
  1. Public Service Announcements:  Kids are making the backdrop for public service announcements about the need for jobs for refugees.
  2. Kandinsky inspired art that will be turned into Iron-On decals that will be sold to support DDX3X research.  DDX3X is a newly discovered Autism-related syndrome.
  3. Knit Hats  – Teachers will work with interested kids to knit hats for children in need.
  • Future Outreach Projects…
  1. SOS Care Packages – Kids could involve art in creating care packages for refugee kids and care packages for homeless kids, based on needs expressed by social service agencies
  2. Kid Initiated Fundraisers – Local events to raise funds to make other projects, events, and donations feasible…  walkathon, babysitting, gardening, shoveling, bake sales, garage sales, craft sales, etc.
  • School in Kenya – the UNA would like help raising funds for to build a school in Kenya.
  • Project to buy wheelchairs for the Walkabout Foundation


In the works… The Big Picture Foundation’ incentive program is critical to building a strong organization.  Without incentives, any group will be able to follow the Big Picture Foundation model on their own.  However, working together to build a global network and to develop the vision, will increase opportunities for participants and promote intercultural communication.  Incentives will encourage children’s groups to collaborate with Big Picture Foundation. Points will be assigned to children’s work.  The child who writes the overview and summary of group activity will receive points.  All project work will receive points.  Service projects that directly help children in need will receive more points than others.  Junior officers will receive points for their work to make the program a success. Children will have the chance to exchange points for rewards.  Local ice cream or pizza parlors might offer a reward for 10 points.  An electronics manufacturer might offer rewards for 100 points.  Children might have the chance to exchange 200 points for a voucher for a class on a college campus or for a fine art print from a contemporary artist know for work addressing issues of social justice. Students may have the opportunity to exchange points for college classes at collaborating institutions. Ideally, the foundation goals will align with many universities’ commitments to citizenship and community building.  As the list of participating colleges and universities grows, the commitment by one organization will decrease. Participating universities will directly contribute to local and global community building.  Empowering children to pursue higher education goals will build resiliency and foster inclusive economies. Students may have a chance to exchange points for limited edition contemporary art prints.  Students making art for change should know about professional artists who have similar objectives.  Eventually, students will have opportunities to attend lectures, visit studios, and engage in discussions with artists.  


Junior Operational Officer – Oversees all activities and communicates with officers. Junior Development Officer – Oversees fundraising activities Junior Financial Officer – Oversees accounts/financial transparency under the supervision of a business professional Junior Rewards Officer – Develops reward criteria and a point system, helps to communicate with community, university, and corporate collaborators Junior Registrar – Registers new groups Junior International Correspondence Officer – makes initial and concluding contact with connecting international schools or groups. Junior National Correspondence Officer – makes initial and concluding contact with connecting international schools or groups. Junior Logistics Officers – Oversee inter-group project transfers Junior Community Relations Officer – Writes/Oversees Articles and Gives Interviews Junior Art Program Officer – Oversees, advises, and develops art programs. Encourages Participation. Junior Friend-Link Program Director – Connects English-speaking youth with refugees and immigrants who need to speak conversational English Junior Internal Website Officer and IT Pro – Maintains a closed-network website for internal organization Junior External Website Officer and IT Pro – Maintains the public homepage Junior Compassion Officers – Create care packages for families in need. Brainstorm initiative and recruit friends to help Junior World News Officer – In charge of keeping the group apprised of important world news, from politics to natural disasters.  May keep a Week-in-Review page Junior Media Officer – Oversees filming and photography at events Junior Education Officer – Oversees fill-in templates for buddy groups and encourages learning opportunities.


Devise an easy system for local children’s groups to participate in Big Picture Foundation. Build a clear and user friendly website. Find an easy and inexpensive system for communicating with children.  Google charges $5-$10 per business address, per month, which isn’t feasible.  Thus, children will be asked to work with their parents to create supervised gmail email addresses that always forward to parents’ addresses. Clarify roles and responsibilities of junior officers.  Teach each of the junior officers how to fulfill their roles.  Empower them to be creative and to take ownership of their positions. Create an exciting incentives program that will enable kids to earn points for working on projects and then exchange points for rewards. Identify collaborators who will offer work spaces for children’s groups.  Offer spaces for meetings, performances, and art shows. Identify collaborators who will enable the Friend Link Program by offering museum passes, train fees and lunch certificates. Identify collaborators who will contribute rewards for the incentive program.  
  • Artists who will create fine art prints for the organization and agree to one speaking engagement.
  • Schools that will accept a large number of children’s Big Picture Foundation’ points as payment for classes.
  • Technology, clothing, art supply, or other companies that would contribute to the incentives program.
Identify collaborators who will use media connections to report on Big Picture Foundation’ successes. Give children occasional opportunities to report on the Big Picture Foundation’ accomplishments. Offer media space for child created advertisement/information pages (children will work on projects to draw attention to specific issues, such as the current need of refugee resettlement agencies to find jobs for their clients). Identify collaborators who will lead or supervise children’s projects Identify collaborators who will invite children to outside lectures, workshops, and events that will: Expand children’s education about: world cultures, contemporary social justice inspired art, global news and issues Build a board of trustees comprised of members who will responsibly help to make the organization a success. Find a grant to cover startup fees and subsequent operational costs. Earn status as an official 501 c 3 non-profit organization  Build a postage budget to send kids’ art back and forth. Build a scholarship fund for children’s groups that can’t afford supplies to create Big Picture Foundation projects. Find enabling sponsors and one-time grant makers for Big Picture Foundation administrative costs, including 1-3 salaried positions with medical and dental insurance, professional development fees, and general office fees Identify collaborators who will offer pro bono business, legal, and writing guidance.


Expand access to the program to kids in nearby towns. Build a fund to commission prints from artists who address social issues in their art. Continue to identify sponsors.


Expand access to the program to all children. Create the Big Picture Foundation as a separate entity that will support Big Picture Foundation.  Big Picture Foundation will also collect and distribute funds that children raise in efforts to support other charities that help children. Develop programs and strategies to financially support all Big Picture endeavors. Membership – create a membership program for adults that offers a range of benefits.  Benefits will include access to lectures, events, classes, and art tours. Paint Chips Program – work with a financial firm to develop a for-profit program (idea for the for-profit endeavor exists but has yet to be revealed) Human Interest Links – Find online media sources willing to include small fee based links to human interest stories.  Profits will be divided between the story subjects and the Big Picture Foundation. Performance Series – Polish the children’s performance series. Educational Programs – Develop regular children’s events to educate children on how their efforts fit into a big world picture.


Children will show kindness and consideration to others. Children will help build collaborative global communities. If a group initiates a project and another child asks to join, the main group members will welcome the newcomer to participate.  They will include the newcomer in group activities and show kindness at all times. At Big Picture Foundation gatherings, groups of friends will participate with the whole group, rather than isolating themselves. Children will show respect to all during in-person and online Big Picture Foundation interactions. Children will fulfill their obligations to partner groups and to each other. Children may participate until their 18th birthday.  After that cutoff birthdate, children may continue to exchange the points they accumulated for incentive rewards. Violations to the rules may result in warnings, forfeiture of points, or elimination from the program.


Fall 2015 – Rye youth collaborated with Studio Syria, in Seattle and with the Rye Post Office to send 100 pounds of art supplies, cards and handmade sketchbooks to the Za-atari Refugee Camp in Jordan. Rye kids made cards to benefit the Blossom Hill Foundation’s programs to offer long-term aid to children living in conflict zones.  Kids collaborated with the Rye Arts Center and with Arcade Books.  Proceeds particularly helped fund a computer lab for refugee children in Turkey. The Rye Arts Center hosted a November 2015-December 2016 exhibit and sale of children’s art.  $3100 was raised and donated to the Blossom Hill Foundation Summer 2016 –organized a day of art at the Metropolitan Museum for newly resettled refugee families.  Daniel Weiss, the Metropolitan Museum president gave the welcoming address and at the end of the day, Ann Nicol, United Nations Association – NYC Executive Director, gave concluding remarks and ended the day by distributing backpacks filled with school supplies.  To make the day a success, Ms. Tamalonis collaborated with the United Nations Association, with Church World Service’s refugee resettlement branch, with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with Pace Prints, with the Rye Arts Center, with Starbucks, and with many other sponsors.




Children have innovative ideas, they’re enthusiastic collaborators, and they throw passionate support behind causes that resonate with them.  They also generate enthusiasm among their peers.  The Big Picture Foundation will establish a system that encourages children to work independently, to take ownership of projects, and to feel empowered to develop their own global networking initiatives now and in the future.

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