Binding Arts

Binding Arts


Tikkun Olam (Healing the World)...Karma...The Seven Acts of Corporal Mercy...Because Someone Needs to Take Responsiblity...Zakat...We Are Our Brothers' and Sisters' Keepers...It Takes a Village to Raise a Child...Mitzvot...

New York, New York

New Yorkers have a reputation for sounding tough. (On my first day back one of the boys politely interrupted and asked if I was "Mafia."  No, explained one of the kids who knew me for a while, she's just from Brooklyn.) Well as tough as NYers sound, we have big hearts.  Cathy Izzo, of NY's City Quilter is hosting TWO stocking parties, inviting her customers to come in and sew Christmas stockings for our boys. Cathy is donating fat quarters of NYC print, patterns, refreshments and expert instruction. The City Quilter carries an amazing array of over 3,000 cotton fabrics; fun books, patterns, kits, felting, sashiko supplies and much more.

IF you can't get there, you can order online--I do.

Not Sure How Long We Will Continue

We've grown again: from 24 since the last time I updated this page to 32--full capacity. Thank goodness for Greenhills Presbyterian Church and Father Giuliani & Board Members of the The Amalia & Nicola Giuliani Foundation for Religion and the Arts. They are the only two organizations funding us. The A&NGF, after 5 years will be returning to it's own programming and will no longer provide funds to any outside organization. What does this mean for the boys? Probably the end of the arts program. There's money for supplies from TSYA but I can't find funding for me, the artist. Seems like the most of the world thinks artists should volunteer. Sorry but there are bills to be paid.

What's changed besides the number of kids? 

1. We are still at twice a month.

2. We've changed from two, one and a half hour late afternoon into early evening sessions to four, one hour sessions--the first 2 in one building, the remaining 2 in the other. The 2nd building's sessions usually go up to 2 hours each because they are finished with lunch and school by then.

I really want to be there every week if not every day. I've introduced more challenging projects like block carving for print making. This took lots of planning and prep and the boys rose to my expectations surprising EVERYONE, themselves included. We are currently working on a painted book: watercolors, acrylics and pen and ink before we cut the pages and sew them into a book.

We visited OSU' to attend a Spiritual & Gospel concert. What a joyful experience for even the "toughest" boys. (Since then, I'm always greeted with a smile & a hug, cooperation & assistance with his peers. ANd I bet you thought it was just a field trip.)   Lots more so if you want, please email and we can schedule a time to discuss or plan a visit.

The photos below are from our most recent field trip. We were guests of The Morgan Paper Mill and Conservatory in Cleveland.  It was cold, it was wet, it was messy and sloppy but we  had a blast. Oh yeah, we learned about papermaking, too.

Many thanks to Tom, Lisa and Claudio for the many hours of preparation and clean-up required for our paper experience.

We enjoyed looking at the great artwork hanging in the gallery, too.


I just love the imagery that the boys create: hearts and homes.  The crew at Morgan Conservatory were great with the boys. I've known Tom and Lisa from the book arts programs we've all participated in over the years.  I love them and only bring the boys from Buckhorn to friends who I know will treat the the guys to a great day of creative expression.


The artwork shown on this page was created by the boys participating in You Gotta Have HeART. In order to protect them, I can not give them the credit they deserve by posting their names. 



"When I put colors on the page, it was like letting myself cry for the first time."  


In August 2007 I founded You Gotta Have HeART for teenage boys in a residential facility in a rural, economically-disadvantaged county of Ohio with a grant from the Giuliani Foundation, CT. These boys are considered “Ohio’s most difficult youth” and come to Buckhorn Children & Family Services / Tri-State Youth Academy through referrals by the juvenile justice system. Buckhorn and Tri-State ’s staff work to repair damaged lives through residential services, treatment, foster care and adoption, transitional living, and family preservation and reunification.


You Gotta Have HeART’s mission is to bring the experience of art making as a gift to the boys to nurture their spirits through individual artistic expression which will in turn lift each other. The program’s focus is on building self-esteem and teamwork, problem-solving, and collaboration – all skills that facilitate coping and the building of close relationships.


The incorporation of art in the recovery process has been a vital component of our clinical treatment program. Through artistic expression, our boys have expanded their problem-solving skills, tapped into unexplored and long-neglected reservoirs of creativity and imagination, and experienced the resolution of painful emotions and memories that typical therapeutic dialogue cannot easily access. What is often undervalued in many programs limited by dwindling resources is the potential that the arts have to waken redemptive hope in youth who have long given up.

Bob Rubinow, M.A., PCC-S

Supervising Professional Clinical Counselor

Buckhorn Children & Family Services


 "It's like I can really be myself and I don't have to pretend anymore."  



"A new life through pencils and paint."

 "In my family growing up, I was never encouraged to do anything creative before. I never realized I had all this artistic talent. I'm going to use this someday to make something of myself."

You Gotta

Have HeART


The young men at Buckhorn/Tri State participating in You Gotta Have HeART, and I would like to thank the following organizations for their generous support:

The Giuliani Foundation, Inc.

Tri State Youth Academy

Buckhorn Children & Family Services of KY

to the following people for their guidance and friendship:

Karen Veronica

Richard E. Jacob

Rocky M. Hall

Kevin Little

To support You Gotta Have HeART, send a contribution (specifying that it is for the arts program at Buckhorn/TSYA in the memo line and letter) to either one of the following organizations. Both are

501 (c)3 organizations so your contribution is tax deductible. 

A contribution to honor a friend or family member makes a great gift.  Wedding, graduation, Mother's or Father's Day, Anniversary, Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, Winter Solstice... . just because it's the right thing to do :-)

Jacob's Ladder Foundation, Inc.

61 West Second Avenue

Columbus, Ohio 43201

or to

Buckhorn Children & Family Services of KY

c/o TSYA

7130 County Rd. 121
PO Box 47
Chesterville, OH 43317


Copyright 2008
Debra Fink Bachelder
Amaze Yourself