KIND Clients Create Stop Motion Claymation Films with Partner Artolution

March 28, 2024

To close out Youth Art Month and Social Work Month, we are proud to feature this piece about our most recent project with longtime partner Artolution. Read more about KIND’s partnership with Artolution in this recent blog post.  

Earlier this month, KIND’s D.C., Maryland, and Virginia offices held an event to mark the end of a client art project at the D.C. Capitol Hills Arts Workshop, a community children’s art gallery. The event was the finale of a stop motion Claymation film project funded by a National Endowment for the Arts grant and jointly led by KIND and Artolution.  

Between October and December of 2023, ten clients ages 16 to 19 participated in a series of workshops to create their Claymation characters, first on paper and then out of clay, to write storylines for their character, and to act out the story they created for their character using software on tablets to make short stop motion films. Each participant created their own character and then presented their final project to the group.   

Joel Bergner, Artolution’s CEO and Cofounder, noted how quick and talented the kids were: “I gave an introductory workshop on stop motion animation and they ran with it. These kids are so good with technology, they all know how to make videos on TikTok, so they understood the program immediately and within an hour or two had created their characters. It was amazing. The animated works they made were unbelievable considering it was their first time.” 

In December, KIND staff held an online premiere of all the films for clients, their friends and family, and KIND staff. Over 60 people attended. The films were featured during the event earlier this month at D.C. Capitol Hills Arts Workshop, an in-person presentation of the finished films, as well as videos of the kids’ behind-the-scenes work and play that went into the creations. 

The films showcased the creativity and talent of youth participants. One client made a story about a boxing glove named Boxy whose goal in life was to protect her children and loved ones. Another client made an elaborate music scene with various clay characters singing and dancing— other youth jumped in and added their characters to the music scene, too.  

Kelsey Komich Garcia, Social Services Supervisor at KIND’s Washington D.C. office who led the project, reflected on the impact of the project:  

Projects like this are so important, to create safe spaces for youth where they know they can come and relax and be themselves, and where they can find community. Participating in a new project or activity can be intimidating and scary, especially for teenagers. It was obvious that KIND’s social service coordinators had done the leg work to build trust and rapport with their clients, inviting the clients who they knew could benefit from having a creative outlet. It was wonderful to collaborate as a larger team to make sure each client felt seen and heard during this process. 

Through the partnership with Artolution and by forging new initiatives, KIND’s social service teams will continue to find ways to engage youth in therapeutic creative outlets.