Mr. West,


    I am the director of The Memory Project, a nationwide initiative in which art students create portraits for children and teens around the world who have been orphaned, neglected, or disadvantaged. Given that kids in such situations usually have few personal keepsakes, the purpose of the portraits is to provide them with a special memory of their youth and to help honor their self identity. The project also allows art students to practice kindness, empathy, and service to others.


    You may know that Mr. Michael Chiariello and his art students at White Plains High School have participated in this effort in the past, when they made portraits for children in Haiti. The portraits were stunning, and it is clear that the students receive excellent instruction to create artwork of such a high caliber.  Mr. Chiariello is an extremely gifted teacher and you are very lucky to have him on your staff.


    This year Mr. Chiariello guided his students to create 40 more portraits for children in Rwanda. The portraits are truly magnificent.  I therefore would like to take a moment to tell you how truly grateful we are for their efforts. The youth in Rwanda who will receive these new works of art will value them tremendously. Indeed, Mr. Chiariello’s students are providing them with personal gifts to last a lifetime.


    I would just like to say thanks to your art program for being part of this.




    Ben Schumaker

    Founder & Director

    The Memory Project

    2163 Gateway St. N.

    Middleton, WI 53562

    P) 608-467-5706

Last Modified on May 4, 2012