Given that youth in such situations usually have few personal keepsakes, the purpose of the portraits is to provide them with meaningful mementos of their youth. The project also allows art students to practice kindness and global awareness while enhancing their portraiture skills.
Students at Madison high school are participating as part of a course the Art Club. To do this, the students receive photos of children who are waiting for portraits, and then work in their art classroom to create the portraits. Once finished, the Memory Project delivers the portraits to the children. In total, the students will make portraits for 5-10 children in Haiti.
The Memory Project is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin. Since the project began in 2004, more than 100,000 American art students have created portraits for children in 44 countries.