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Liz Fales, Executive Director
Cassandra Anzelone, Manager of Programming
Vickie Marasco, Founder

Member Spotlight: Vickie Marasco, Founder & Director, Art Impact Project


Lake/Forest Lake Bluff Chamber:  Tell us a little bit about Art Impact Project and the programing you offer?

Vickie Marasco: Art Impact Project designs and facilitates supportive art programming by partnering with local organizations and serving participants in small group settings in schools, addiction recovery sites, after school programs, veteran’s groups, halfway houses, etc. Working with adolescents and adults, we sit side by side with our participants, completing a project and sharing openly and safely the feelings and emotions that are often difficult for most to express. All of this happens through the power of art.


LF/LB: What inspired you to found this nonprofit in our community?

VM:  In 2012-13, my then teenage son was struggling with some intense issues and trying to cope in ways that became very destructive. Observing the teens in his therapy groups, I realized that so many teens are challenged to express emotions behind resulting harmful behaviors. As one who studied art, always involved with and surrounded by art, I truly believe in the calming and healing component that it can bring to one’s life. Therefore, I was compelled to try to help those who needed an alternative avenue in finding a voice. I was afforded the opportunity to try my idea with an adolescent recovery group and it instantly resonate with my first small group of eight. Those special teens encouraged me to create my organization and Art Impact Project became an official 501c3 nonprofit in September of 2014.


LF/LB: What is your vision or hope for the future of your business?

VM:  Being fortunate to experience 10 years of Art Impact Project’s growth and impact in our community, my vision is that the organization continues to move forward with the initial concept of utilizing the power of art making to serve those in need of emotional support by being understanding, compassionate, and treating people with great respect. Having the honor of working alongside such a variety of people living with traumas and challenges that I have never experienced, taught me that we all essentially want and need the same things – to matter and to be heard. Empowering people as best we can through our unique programming makes an impact for a better existence within and with one another. Our new leadership with Liz Fales as Executive Director will bring fresh ideas to expand our scope and capabilities to serve more groups and meet the great needs for mental, behavioral and emotional support.


LF/LB: Tell us about your site partnerships and volunteer Art Advocates and how they can support your programming!

VM:  Our site partners consist of local Lake County organizations that bring in our programming for their clients, students or other varied groups who need supportive mental and emotional health services. We bring the project based programs to the partner sites and provide an opportunity for self-awareness as well as greater understanding and tolerance of others due to the nature of our small group settings in focused environments. The 90

minute sessions are coordinated by Cassandra Anzelone, our Manager of Programming and facilitated by trained volunteer Art Advocates with Cassandra. To become an Art Advocate and have the truly humbling experience of working with people who need support, please contact to inquire about the process and opportunities.


LF/LB: Tell us about your upcoming “The Benefit of Art” event and how the greater community can support your organization?

VM:  This is a very special year for Art Impact Project as it marks our 10th Anniversary! The Benefit of Art fundraising event is taking place on Thursday, September 26th at 28 Mile Distilling Company in Highwood. Our theme this year is “Holding Space” where we will feature 10 “makers/creators” of a vessel representing how they hold space for themselves or others. These are both artists and some community members of notoriety who are gracious enough to be vulnerable in exploring their creative sides and share their emotional reflections (just as we ask our program participants to do!). The Holding Space vessels will be auctioned at the event to raise funding for our impactful programming. We will also have an interactive project at the event for our guests to be a part of.

To support the event, we would love to invite all to join the celebration and attend the event. Tickets are currently on sale (Early Bird tickets at a special price end September 1st). If not able to attend, donations may be made on the website as well. Also, please consider sponsoring our event at one of 5 levels – Cassatt $10,000 (exclusive sponsor), Dali $5000, Kahlo $2500, Matisse $1000, and Banksy $500 – and be a part of a unique group to promote your business or honor your family, and show community support of our mission of enhancing emotional wellness through creative expression.

All purchases available through the following link:

Benefit of Art