make it plain. make it real.

Since the Sandy Hook shooting, Arts4Impact has collaborated with local creatives and leading GVP organizations to create dynamic, interactive, non-partisan GVP activations that create community and drive systemic change.

We’ve facilitated Arts Memorials in response to mass shootings in Highland Park, Nashville, and Pittsburg. Our work has been a mainstay at vigils, protests, marches, schools, youth summits, houses of worship, and statehouses across the country, including three installations on the lawn of the United States Capitol.

Americans killed by guns every day
Children killed by guns since Sandy Hook
Minors living in a home with at least one loaded, unlocked firearm

Our Impact

The work ripples. A flash of orange that speaks volumes.

Activations have inspired a children’s book, two documentaries, and amplified scores of national advocacy campaigns, State and Congressional Hearings, and grassroots civic expressions.

In the immediate wake of horror and tragedy, you provided a reflective opportunity for our community to begin to repair its footing and purpose.

By creating a place of connection, creation, and gathering, you gave us all a much-needed hub. Your thoughtfulness and comprehensive outreach were incredibly impactful on thousands and deeply appreciated.

Mayor Nancy Rotering, City of Highland Park, IL

After a tragedy like the mass shooting in Highland Park, most of us are overwhelmed and unable to put our thoughts and feelings into words. This is especially true when the victims are our family members, neighbors, or people we know from our community. The utter powerlessness of a sudden, senseless tragic loss leaves us asking, “what can I do?!”

On the one hand, we know there are no easy or quick solutions. We know that we need time and support from others to grieve and accept the loss. On the other hand, we are confronted with an overwhelming mix of feelings like helplessness, anger, and intense sadness.

Art therapists have taught us that when words and language fail us, we can use other creative ways to express ourselves. Research shows that artistic expression allows us to feel more in control of our lives and less depressed and anxious. When community members came together in the immediate aftermath of the Highland Park shooting, Arts4impact invited them to take orange pieces of yarn and begin wrapping objects. They were given colorful chalk to draw and color, and luggage tags to express a message. Healing comes through the action of expressing oneself with others. The artistic options made available to those affected by the shootings were “the something “people could do. The process and the doing were helpful and soothing. The outcome was a surprise as there never was a goal.

For one person, it may be about expressing a message they never got to share. For another, just feeling like they are doing something with their hands during the confusion and powerlessness. For some, drawing with colorful chalk makes them remember beauty still exists even in the darkest of times. Beauty offers hope for the future because it is bigger than us. Of course, some community leaders will take symbols from the day to express their outrage to the press or to fellow politicians in Washington or Springfield. In the end, the memorial that Arts 4impact created allowed for the process of healing to progress. In all the

diverse ways people needed to start, the option of art allowed that beginning in a non-verbal way.

The Arts 4 impact memorial art in Highland Park allowed people to come together, be in all the confusing mix of feelings and do something to start the journey of healing. 

We are so excited to host Arts4Impact’s Tree of Hope here in our city of Pittsburgh to acknowledge and recognize the need to end the violence in our communities, in our schools, and in our neighborhoods. The Tree of Hope represents for us how we as a community can come together to acknowledge those victims and demand and advocate for action.

Mayor Ed Gainey, City of Pittsburgh, PA

The Art Memorial has become a dynamic interactive installation and continual communal gathering place unlike any I have ever witnessed.

The ways the Highland Park installation inspired an urge to commune with others — and indeed, a desire to return to it again and again — offer some clues for how sites of collective mourning might mobilize visitors rather than leave them in paralyzing sorrow.

Alisa Solomon , HyperAllergic
Highland Park Mass Shooting Victim, Eduardo Uvaldo

We are so grateful for the Art Memorial and all the artists and community volunteers who helped build it. It has been a daily source of comfort and healing. To feel so supported and loved by our community has meant the world to my family.

Karina Uvaldo, Daughter of Highland Park Shooting victim Eduardo Uvaldo
First Responder CERT

I come to the memorial every day. It’s a warm and wonderful feeling. To me, it’s been like therapy.

When visitors hear I was a First Responder, they want to talk about their experiences and feel comfortable talking to me. That deep connection with my community has just helped me tremendously.

Kathy LeMorte, CERT First Responder

Arts Memorials

Organic, evolving, community-driven
art & music expressions
that speak to the heart of humanity.

Arts Memorial

Nashville, TN

A collaboration with the Change the Ref, the Museum of Contemporary Art Nashville, Ce Gallery, and numerous advocacy organizations. Now evolving at local coffeehouses and in front of homes across Tennessee.

IL Advocacy Day

Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action, Arts4Impact, and Survivors from across Illinois gathered at the State Capitol to lobby for gun violence prevention bills.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul speaks during a gun violence prevention rally in front of the state Capitol Tuesday, May 16, 2023.


Tree of Life Shooting
Pittsburgh, PA

In 2018, Arts4Impact collaborated with Repair the World, Amnesty International, the Mayor of Pittsburgh, the University of Pittsburgh, and an entire school district to create a Hope Tree honoring the victims of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting.

Washington D.C.

• March For Our Lives
• Toms End Gun Violence

• Coalition of national faith leaders


Engage. Inspire. Drive Impact.