TSG Art Program

Our innovative Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Mindfulness-based Arts Residency Program was created to empower youth to cope with trauma, build resilience, and practice empathy. By identifying, expressing, and sharing their meaning of ‘good’ with art, students learn the power of positive expression and connection. Bring ‘the simple good’ to your youth by contacting us today!

The Problem

The World Health Organization estimates that up to 1 billion children between the ages of 2-17 years old have experienced physical, sexual or emotional violence, or neglect within the past year. Youth victimization and segregation negatively impact our youth on a global scale, and the rise of economic depression, political conflict and societal pressures worsen the conditions children face every day. The terrible conditions created by these issues have caused ⅔ of youth to be exposed to trauma in various forms, and as many as 75% of those in need of help have few or no options for intervention.

Continuous unaddressed trauma in a young person’s life can lead to a lack of hope, and perpetuate the inequality and violence found in communities around the world. Experts agree that trauma can deeply impact healthy growth and development and negatively influence the behavior of young people.

In the U.S. alone, 50% of adolescents meet the criteria for mental health disorders and 50% of students 14 years or older with mental illness drop out of school. Our global Mental Health crisis is only getting more intense, and continues to create new issues in our education systems. Studies have shown that early intervention is essential to address trauma in our world’s youth, and can empower them with tools to overcome future obstacles.

The Solution

The arts are an outlet for development and self expression.

Our Social Emotional Learning and Mindfulness-based Arts Programs empower youth to think about possibility, hope and change that they can bring to their communities to improve their corner of the world. Each session begins with a meditation when students are asked to look within to define the ‘good’ in themselves. Students then learn from our global photo blog where ideas of the ‘simple good’ are shared from around the world to inspire our students and connect to others beyond their own neighborhood. Students are then challenged to think about their own meaning of ‘the simple good’ around them, an exercise of positive empowerment and decision making. By exploring the good within themselves, defining what is good around them and sharing that good with the world, our students become positive leaders who will influence the world with positive mindsets and empathetic perspectives.



Exploration of Positivity Around the World

Through our global photo blog, people from across the globe are sharing their ideas of the 'simple good’ in order to inspire our students via photography and storytelling. This helps students  discover a world beyond their own but also challenges them to think about their own meaning of the 'simple good’ to empower themselves and impact their communities.


Expressive Creation Through the Arts

Create, create, create! We analyze what we learned about the 'simple good' around the world and have our students create artwork that demonstrates their representation of the 'simple good'. We use various artistic mediums to achieve this such as paint, mixed media and photography.


Public Showcase in Creative Institutions

There are some things we don’t learn by hearing – we learn through experience. Our program ends with our students presenting their art during a public showcase. The showcase is important for our students because it exposes them to art and creative career paths and broadens their perspectives about what is possible. It also allows our partners meaningful opportunities to connect with our students and support their development.

What is sel?

According to CASEL Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Each of the 5 SEL Core Competencies can be found in each of our curriculum steps as shown in the infographic below.

Program process & Pillars

The TSG Arts Program is layered with Trauma Recovery, Mindfulness practices and Social Emotional Learning Principles to effectively equip our youth to become self-aware, empowered and positive leaders in the future.

Experiential learning

During the program, students are exposed to accomplished artists, taken on local explorations to find their artistic subjects, and introduced to creative institutions first hand. We end with a public showcase hosted at agencies, companies and other innovative spaces bringing new possibilities to the youth we serve.

Social Emotional learning

SEL competencies are woven through each of our program process steps. Meditation is a self-management practice and by defining their meaning of ‘good’ and discovering it within themselves, students build self-awareness. Social realizations, awareness and relationship building through dialogue are just a few of the ways our program implements the core of SEL.


Each of our sessions begin with a meditation session to center our students, get them focused to create and ultimately build their ability to practice this skill whenever they need it.

arts And expression

Students are tasked throughout the program to create a final work to visually communicate the meaning of ‘good’ that they found. Using photography, painting and mixed media, students positively express themselves in order to impact the world around them.

Global competency

Students learn about the meaning of ‘good’ from others around the world through our photo blog. We explore regions around the world and discuss the differences that make us unique and commonalities we share. Through this dialogue, students feel a deeper connection to others in parts of the world they have never been.

Bring TSG Art Program to Your COMMUNITY

Contact us to find out how you can bring our powerful art residency program to your community!

Get involved

Help spread The Simple Good by getting involved with our work!

Partner With Us

Connect, support and learn from our students by hosting a showcase at your company, bring ‘the simple good’ and join the movement!


Get Involved

Be the change in our community by volunteering at one of our upcoming events, youth showcases or initiatives.


Your Support

The continuation of our subsidised programming in underserved communities in Chicago are dependent on contributions from artists, community members and supporters.