Pay it Forward: Artist helps kids discover talents, find belonging through Joy Foundation

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Pay it Forward: Artist helps kids discover talents, find belonging through Joy Foundation (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) Jane Joy has worked with kids for a long time.

"My philosophy is children are our gift to the future," Joy said.

Some of the work she has done has been with kids in juvenile custody.

"I saw them change when they started finishing a painting or learning how to play guitar," she recalled.

So 13 years ago, she started the Joy Foundation to give children the chance to learn music and art.

"Giving kids the sense of belonging to the community so they feel good about themselves," she said.

The foundation offers art classes and hosts an open mic night in Bountiful every Saturday night.

"We offer the guitars, the drums, everything's here," Joy said.

The Joy Foundation is also behind Bountiful's Chalk Art Festival every year.

"It's a gift to the community," Joy said.

Kids work alongside professionals to turn Main Street into a beautiful art gallery.

"What happens is they just start loving themselves and getting the attention that they need with the professional artist sitting next to them," she said.

Joy says the Joy Foundation is open to everyone.

"I don't want this to be considered a 'problem kid' program," she said. "It's to keep kids from having problems."

The Joy Foundation is a nonprofit and has what Joy calls a "tiny budget" and has a small staff.

"We're struggling because we're bursting at the seams," she said.

Mountain America Credit Union gave them a boost with $500.

The Bountiful Chalk Art Festival runs from May 16-19 on Main Street.

For more information on that, the open mic nights, or to donate to the Joy Foundation, visit the foundation's website, kidsfindjoy.org.

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