Today's post is very dear to me. I've interviewed Morgan Downing of the Hearts for the Arts Foundation, an amazing initiative, based in the Charleston area of South Carolina, that works to financially and emotionally support artistic children. See below for the interview and learn how you can help the Hearts for the Arts Foundation and cause:1. Tell us a little bit about Hearts for the Arts. Specifically, who are the leaders and founders behind it, and what is the foundation's mission? The Hearts for the Arts Foundation was established by Kelly James, Jared James, Shelly Downing, and myself, Morgan Downing. We have set out to fund one of the most attacked activities offered by public schools: the Arts. From ballet to creative writing, we support any form of expression. 2. What was the inspiration behind starting the Hearts for the Arts initiative? In other words, what moved you to start this project? Kelly James, one of the founders, teaches at an arts-infused school. The money for the programs runs on grants, state money, and donations. However, in the recent economic crisis, the state sees their programs like 'finger painting' if you will. Thus, the funding is cut short—yet AGAIN. I, Morgan Downing, am an avid representative for the vitality of the arts in children's growth and development. We knew there was a need so we all found a solution, the Hearts for the Arts Foundation. 3. The Hearts for the Arts foundation is in direct affiliation with The Art Closet Thrift Store, which is opening soon on Dorchester Rd. in Charleston. What types of things can individuals purchase from The Art Closet Thrift Store, and how does their contribution support the Hearts for the Arts initiative? The Art Closet Thrift Store is currently the blood and life of our foundation. 80-85% of the money made from our store is directly given to the foundation. We have absolutely fabulous items of all variations there. We have seasonal items, clothing, furniture, books, house ware, jewelry, and much more! However, we must have support from the community to keep this wonderful organization up and running. 4. How can individuals become involved with the Hearts for the Arts foundation and support its cause? For anyone who has fallen in love with our cause, here are some ways to help:

  • Bring your donations to us! We need all that we can get.
  • If you or the company you work for would like to give, they can. We take monetary donations as well.
  • Spread the word and tell EVERYONE. Word of mouth is the best form of advertisement!

If anyone has questions or would like to donate, you can contact us at 843.460.0001 or 843.789.5544. Our e-mail is

Thank you for being a part of 'The key to a creative education.'