For Literacy and Art

Artist Toller Cranston along with 40 schoool children creating murals at Public School

By Scott Umstattd

The Children’s Art Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 2010 by artist Hannah Jarmain and a group of volunteer workers, artists, and teachers, to help underprivileged children reach their full potential through art. Its goal is to take education in art and literacy to disadvantaged children in rural communities of San Miguel de Allende, bringing the program and the teachers to their doorsteps. Children learn drawing, painting, and story writing—the life skills of self-expression. Children develop fine motor skills, attention to detail, problem solving, and self-confidence while having fun and learning to draw great pictures and create great stories.

On November 20, San Miguel’s well known international artist Toller Cranston, a supporter of the children’s art program, came to weave his magic for 40 school children and inspire them to create four art murals for posterity at the public school Ignacio Allende in colonia Guadalupe.

The event, sponsored by the San Miguel Community Church, is one of the public aspects of the Children’s Art Foundation’s Art and Literacy program. It seeks to inspire children to express their innate creative talent through mural art. The Foundation also encourages children to be more creative using written stories to create illustrations so they can also enhance their literacy. Their words and their imagination find life on printed paper and canvases. It puts brushes, pencils, paper, and paints into the hands of children, so their hopes and dreams can be realized.

Mexican author Francisco Javier Morales has donated the proceeds of his book Artists of San Miguel and Other Stories to support the Children’s Art Foundation’s program. The book is in La Tienda of La Biblioteca and many book stores in town. It features humorous short stories of birds, friendship, love, and mishaps, all with happy endings, to inspire the children to use their imagination and illustrate for the upcoming art contest.

We hope you support the work of the Children’s Art Foundation and visit the art classes in any of the four communities where weekly classes are being taught on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. To make a donation online go to or contact Hannah Jarmain, 415 114 0346, CAF video in Spanish:

Scott Umstattd, a photographer and his wife Faith Fuller, a filmmaker, are visitors to San Miguel who are making a difference with their creative projects in town.


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