Artful Advocates (1)

Artful Advocates Workshop Series

In the Heart of the Beast is excited to announce Artful Advocates Workshops: a 3 month series of free online workshops for elementary-aged children!

HOBT teaching artists will guide your children through an art-making workshop on Saturday mornings.

Together we'll build a sense of confidence and connection, helping children to fall in love with the earth and know they are powerful agents of change.

Get your FREE art kit!

Local participants who register in advance will receive FREE art kits with materials for each workshop. Art kits will be delivered the first week of each month. Sign up here! 

Supplies are limited to the first 100 participants per month.

Note: Reservations for May Art Kits are now closed. You can still participate in the workshops, but you will need to provide your own materials. See the materials lists here.

At this time we can only provide art kits to participants living in Hennepin County and surrounding areas.

May Workshops: Protecting Natural Resources

May 8th: Make Your Own Eco Buddy with Graci Horne!

Graci Horne will lead participants in creating “eco buddies” using found natural objects (sticks, acorns, stones etc).

Join the workshop on Facebook

May 15th: My Dream Aqal with Ifrah Mansour
What’s your Dream for yourself? For your community? For our planet?
My Dream Aqal is a hands-on art-making lesson Inspired by indegious Somali hut building representing the cultural significance of belonging, resilience, and healing. Since we are living in such scaringly painful times, our imagination is the most powerful gift in exercising our mental health and our community’s well-being. So, what’s your Dream for yourself? for your community?, and for our planet?. Let’s have a playtime and build a home for our dreams.

Join the workshop on Facebook

May 22th: Create a Crankie, Save our Water! with Oanh Vu

Water is necessary for every facet of life on this Earth, but how can we protect it and ensure it’s safe for all (animals included!) now and for generations to come? In this workshop, come learn how to keep our water safe by making a crankie, a rotating illustrated scroll, about the water cycle.

crankie is an old storytelling form consisting of a long illustrated scroll that is wound on two spools and loaded in a box that has a viewing screen.

Join the workshop on Facebook

May 29th: Airbender Gliders with Yani Foreman!

What if an Airbender could save the world from pollution/climate change? How would they use their powers to bring change? In this workshop, participants will learn how to harness the wind in their way by creating Airbender Gliders ( Kites ) like the one Aang uses to fly. Inspired by the popular kids show Avatar: The Last Airbender, students will learn about the power of clean air and sustainability and how they can use their creative powers to create a better world.

Join the workshop on Facebook

Join us for youth-oriented art workshops Saturday mornings this Summer!

We have partnered with four local artists who will take turns leading Saturday morning workshops from May through July. These artists will lead participants through art projects exploring the following themes:

May: Protecting Natural Resources

June: Preventing Waste and Recycling

July: Taking Action on Climate Change

Each one-hour workshop will include the following activities:

  • a hands-on art-making activity that can be completed at home
  • a follow-up outdoor activity
  • a call to action to translate your art into environmental action!


Due to COVID-19, all workshops will be happening virtually and can be streamed live on our Facebook page. 

We are currently offering the workshops in English, with ASL interpretation upon request. We are able to provide written workshop materials and descriptions translated into Spanish, Hmong, and Somali upon request.

If you have accessibility questions or requests, please email [email protected].

We can’t wait to explore, imagine, and create together as we help the young children in your life connect with the natural world within and around them!

This project was supported by the Hennepin County Green Partners environmental education program. For more information:

Meet the Artists


Ifrah Mansour is a Somali, refugee, Muslim, multimedia artist, and an educator based in Minnesota. Her artwork explores trauma through the eyes of children to uncover the resiliencies of blacks, Muslims, and refugees. She interweaves poetry, puppetry, films, and installations. Her critically-acclaimed works include, "How to Have Fun in a Civil War" play, “Can I touch it" installation, "Halima the puppet" installation, "I am a Refugee" poem, and "My aqal" series. She's been featured in Middle East Eye, BBC, Vice, OkayAfrica, Star Tribune, and City Pages.

Ifrah's Instagram


Yani Foreman

Hello, I am Yani. I am a writer, cinematographer, editor, and educator based out of Minneapolis, MN. I use Filmmaking and Puppetry to bring my stories to life. My work explores themes of healing, trauma, and identity through a Black/Queer/Female gaze that is grounded in spirituality and is centered in play. My purpose as an educator and creator is to empower the next generation to tell their own stories and to trust their unique creative processes.

Yani's Website


Hapistinna [female given name; Dakota for third born girl] Graci Horne, was born and raised in Mnisota [Minnesota]. Her bands are the Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota people and Hunkpapa Lakota and Dakota people. She is a multi-disciplinary artist, specializing in painting, printmaking, puppet making, photography, film, and poetry.

Horne holds a degree in Museum Studies from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM. Her work is defined by landscape hues and the colors of water and is often rooted in undertones of Dakota culture and social themes. Horne is an Independent Curator and works full time as a Community Artist teaching workshops to ages 5-100 years of age.

Graci's Website


Oanh Vu (she/her) is a puppeteer, filmmaker, educator and community organizer. She is a second generation Vietnamese American who grew up in rural Minnesota. She uses humor and the playfulness of puppetry to tell stories of healing for herself and her Southeast Asian community. Her stories feature characters grappling with the past and their pain. Ultimately, they are transformed by the struggle, and able to walk through the world from a place of hope and power. She was a 2020 Puppet Lab Artist and her work has been shared through Monkeybear’s New Puppetworks, the Minnesota Opera Center, Twin Cities Public Television (TPT), the Walker Art Center, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Oanh's Instagram