Nov 28th, 2016, 11:27 PM

Make an Impact with My Art Goes Bang

By Tess Hezlep
The official "My Art Goes Bang" logo, promoting positivity and healing through art.
The holidays are a time of giving. So get in the spirit and give back with "My Art Goes Bang."

"My Art Goes Bang" is an officially registered organization in France that made its way to The American University of Paris a few years ago. The organization promotes mental health and healing through art; specifically, working with children who are hospitalized due to illness. "My Art Goes Bang" works with AUP to offer art workshops for children across hospitals of Paris. The club's main objective is to alleviate the stress felt by children struggling with disease and undergoing treatment. 

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"Research has proved that introducing art in hospital settings is very positive for patients, physically and psychologically. It improves the healing process and helps reduce the does of analgesics. When a person has lost their sense of control and freedom due to hospitalization, art helps them reduce their stress and feelings of loneliness by finding a new way of expression," AUP club founder Nathalie Seiffe said. 

On Mondays, various volunteers of the AUP community go to Hopital Edouard Rist in the 16th arrondissement from 4:30PM to 6:30PM Additionally, on Thursdays, they go to Hopital Necker - Enfants Malades in the 15th arrondissement from 9:30AM to 12PM. These two scheduling options make it flexible and easy for busy students to find a time that works best for them. Still, many students at AUP, especially overwhelmed freshmen, want to get involved and make a difference but struggle to get organized and actually take action. For those who feel this way, you can get involved Saturday, December 3. 

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"Our big upcoming event will be this Saturday, 3rd of Decemember, in the Amex from 10am-5pm. We have invited children and I will have little booths set up where they can play games and make art with the help of our volunteers," Annamaria Deganutti said. 

To make matters better, "My Art Goes Bang" has even more to offer. "Our final 'event' is on Tuesday, December 6th, during the AUP Holiday Bash. We will have a table set up to raise money for the organization. We hope to do that by either selling little ornaments and decorations that the children have made, and also by providing blank ornaments for AUP students to decorate and then either hang on the AUP tree or bring home with them," Deganutti said. To engage in an act of volunteering as warm and gracious as this, there's no better way to get in the holiday spirit than to get involved with all the work of "My Art Goes Bang." 

Club founder Nathalie Seiffe encourages the two-fold benefits of giving back to the community in such a positive light. She explains how volunteers "enjoy sharing creative time with the youngster that they will meet..." Even greater than that, she explains how volunteers "will also realize how lucky they are and how they can share this to the benefit of others. Being part of a generous mission is an energy booster and they will soon feel happy and proud of their achievement."

Image credit: Annamaria Deganutti

If you're feeling a little lazy or blue from the cold winter month and the stress of upcoming finals, fear not. Join this wonderful club or merely come check-out some of the events they have to offer and the act of volunteering will get you out of your head, and as Nathalie said, actually give you an "energy booster." Before you know it, you'll be doused in the spirit of the holidays and smiling with joy for doing something so valuable with your time.