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ELM Foundation

ELM Foundation provides opportunities for artistic expression, primarily for young people who have experienced stress in a family dynamic, whether that be due to loss, grief, divorce, or any additional family-related trauma.

Named in honor of the founder Melinda McCoy’s daughter, Emma Lauren McCoy, and formed in 2019 on the basis of the McCoy family’s personal trauma, ELM Foundation is a safe space for children to heal and grow through art instruction with licensed art therapists.

“The mission of ELM Foundation is to promote the healing power of the arts. Our methods include advocating the benefits of arts therapy, providing multidisciplinary arts education, and building sustaining mentorships—all working together to cultivate a lifelong love of self-expression and awareness through a creative process.”

The ELM Foundation
Courtesy of ELM Foundation Website

ELM Foundation offers various art classes, workshops, and art therapy for children for free, and since they’ve grown, their capability to cultivate a strong community of individuals dedicated to introducing and continuing arts education for young people has too. 

Since 2019 ELM Foundation has worked with The Boiler to host community events in support of their main mission: to make healing through art accessible to children in need. 


Then, in 2020, The Boiler officially became part of ELM Foundation space. “One amazing benefit of this expansion is creating overlapping relationships between different creative and local communities,” said Creative Director, Ryan Miller.

The Boiler

Unlike most white-walled galleries, The Boiler is an industrial space and historically a place for uplifting and featuring artists who think a little bit outside the box. A “Space to Gather Steam”, The Boiler hosts live performances called “Boiler Nights”, community works, ELM Foundation workshops, and exhibitions, all free of charge.  

Currently, The Boiler, located at 191 North 14th St in North Brooklyn, is currently hosting an exhibit by artist, Columbia University School of the Arts professor, and Director/Artistic Director of the Neiman Center, Tomas Vu.

The Artist’s Statement

“Fascinated with the adage that science holds the promise of a better future, Tomas Vu uses the trope of science fiction to question this long-standing belief and presents visual narratives contrary to it. Vu invites the public to a Spherohromatic installation encompassed by a Geodesic Dome within the Boiler’s industrial walls. The viewer will be encouraged to interact/investigate the space with a turntable and records, curated to serve as a musical timeline and soundtrack for the project. Vu reimagines in this body of work, the highs and lows of scientific invention from the moon landing to the explosion of the space shuttle. The work depicts the epic conflict between man and machine, nature and technology, music and pop culture, through these decisive tensions of our time, Vu weaves the narrative through the works in space for the utopian station.”

Artist’s Statement

His solo exhibit features a number of colorful, mixed-media pieces expressive of an other-worldly adventure. The exhibit will be open until June 5th and the gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday from 1PM-6PM. 

Most importantly, this partnership with The Boiler stands to exemplify to children that art is a viable path forward. Through these opportunities of art education and art therapy, ELM Foundation is able to foster creativity and imagination in our community youth. By showcasing the talents of many professional artists in a space like The Boiler, ELM Foundation is also setting an example for what a lifelong love for the arts can look like. 

“Through the free workshops and classes which focus on the specialty, media, or discipline of the current Boiler Artist’s works, we hope to inspire the next generation of artists and creatives. With each unique experience, we strive to promote the transformative power of art.”

The Boiler

Oftentimes, the artist in exhibit will lead ELM Foundation’s youth community through group art endeavors. For example, in October of 2021, in addition to his exhibit at The Boiler,  COCO144 (Roberto Gualtieri) also lead the young artists of ELM Foundation through their first public art experience: painting a mural together on ELM Foundation’s south facing wall. 

To benefit children + the arts, all events held at The Boiler fund the ELM Foundation programming. 

When asked about his favorite part about this work, Miller said the following:

For me personally, in addition to what I mentioned earlier “the overlapping relationships between different creative and local communities,” it’s the undeniable energy that our communities bring to the space during our events and programs, it’s something special when you see our youth artists/students really engage with exhibiting artists and educators and feel their own creativity be validated. Or during opening receptions when a community comes together to celebrate each other, share ideas, and generally find inspiration. Really, these are just a couple of the moments that keep me inspired while working in the community.

Ryan Miller

Coming up with ELM Foundation:

  • Kids Collage and Painting Workshop
  • Kids Mosaic Workshop
  • Styrofoam Plate Printing

RSVP online.

To Show Your Support:

As Miller explained, “We do rely on donations for a good porting of our operations, along with grants and sponsorships. Because we believe in the arts community empowering the community through arts, we also have people donating their time, for example, artists and professionals developing or proposing events, happenings, classes, workshops, or performances for our “Community Works” program.”

You can donate online to help ELM Foundation uphold their mission. If you’d like to be involved in a more hands-on capacity as Miller mentioned, ELM Foundation also welcomes the help of sponsorship, corporate support, educational institution support, and individual family membership. 

Plus, ELM Foundation offers various artistic programs such as the mentorship program, the fellowship program, and the artistic development internship program for career artists or those who are interested in a career in the arts.

Learn more by clicking here.

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