Pet Adoptions Through Public Art: For its Next Civic Initiative, Portraits of Hope Will Revitalize Los Angeles County Animal Shelters into Vibrant Artworks

Share Article

Maddie's Fund, Niagara Cares, and The Goldrich Family Foundation lead effort for animal shelter initiative expected to involve 8,000+ children and adults in LA County

News Image
This is a fabulous opportunity to harness the power of art to connect people with homeless pets. This artwork will represent that special bond between them.

For its latest public art and civic project, Portraits of Hope will be adding lots of color, beauty and artwork to Los Angeles County’s animal shelters as a way to highlight them as public destinations and drive more people to visit and take home a shelter dog or cat. This will be the beginning of a national Portraits of Hope initiative to promote pet adoption by making animal shelters more inviting and appealing places for the public. This latest POH initiative is a continuation of the program’s large-scale, national projects which have brightened and visually transformed public settings and symbols ranging from the NYC taxi fleet, blimps, planes, lakes and buildings to LA’s coastal lifeguard towers, race cars, laundromats/lavanderias, and frontline fire and rescue vehicles by working with organizations from NASA to NASCAR.

The majority of the artwork will be painted by children taking part in Portraits of Hope creative therapy and civic leadership sessions in schools, hospitals and social service programs who will paint 2D and 3D art elements for the shelters in the course of their participation in the broader education and creative therapy program. POH anticipates that more than 8,000 people will be involved for the LAC shelters.

Portraits of Hope received a unanimous and bipartisan vote of approval from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for its proposal to beautify and visually revitalize animal shelters in Los Angeles County. The approval was spearheaded by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and joined by Supervisors Ridley-Thomas, Knabe, Antonovich and Solis. Soon after, Maddie’s Fund, Niagara Cares, The Goldrich Family Foundation, Federal Realty, and Vista Paint generously stepped forward to support and help make possible the privately funded project.

Portraits of Hope founders and brothers Ed Massey and Bernie Massey approached LA County first because the county contracts with 49 different municipalities and processes more animals in its shelters than any other jurisdiction in the U.S. -- more than 80,000 animals a year. The program hopes to involve a great number of shelters throughout the country in the next 2-3 years.

The artwork installations for LA County shelters will begin and be completed during the first quarter of 2017. From late August 2016 until the installation phase, Portraits of Hope will conduct formal programmatic sessions during the week for schools, hospitals, and social service groups. On weekends, POH will conduct public sessions for youth and adults who wish to participate. The vast majority of sessions will be held at Plaza El Segundo near LAX. Public sessions will be most Saturdays and Sundays at Plaza El Segundo beginning on Saturday, August 27th per below:
When: Saturday, August 27th, 11A – 3P
Where: Plaza El Segundo, El Segundo, CA

As in other Portraits of Hope projects, the animal shelter effort is a privately funded initiative supported and led by civic-spirited foundations, businesses and individuals who share the projects themes and goals. Taking a leading role in support are Maddie’s Fund, Niagara Cares, The Goldrich Family Foundation, Federal Realty, and Vista Paint, with additional support from Image Options, EFI/Vutek, Wooster, Royal Langnickel, Genuine Burro Brand, and Cook’s Doors & Windows, among others.

Quotes and What They Are Saying:

“We have the chance to showcase the private sector, government, and social services intersecting to provide a creative path toward shelter pet adoptions and doing so within the context of providing educational and therapeutic benefits to children in schools and hospitals, said Bernie Massey, Founder. The fact that so many children -- many vulnerable themselves -- will be part of the process to help vulnerable animals find a home is very powerful. That already resonates with the kids.”

"A sure way to get more people to go to the shelters is to make them much more inviting and attractive destinations. More people at shelters means more animals going home," said Ed Massey, Founder. "We hope this will serve as a catalyst and trigger other jurisdictions to think creatively about how to engage the public to promote and significantly increase pet adoptions in their regions and make their shelters more appealing public spaces."

In the words of Maddie's Fund's Amy Zeifang, Executive Leadership Team, "This is a fabulous opportunity to harness the power of art to connect people with homeless pets. This artwork will represent that special bond between them. Research shows that 33 million people plan to acquire a pet this year, and only 7.2 million pets need to find homes." She continued, "This math is easy and we wholeheartedly believe this initiative will positively enhance the image of animal shelters in Los Angeles County, attracting the community to choose the shelter to adopt a pet, while also calling attention to the thousands of young people and community members who made it all possible!"

Kristen Venick, who heads Niagara Cares, comes from a pediatrics hospital background and has personally participated at POH youth sessions; “We are so excited to work with Portraits of Hope again, to help revitalize animal shelters in hopes to encourage pet adoption, while providing a unique and innovative way of educating children in schools and hospitals. Niagara Cares is proud to support a project in our surrounding community in which our Team Members can make an impact.”

To RSVP, or to request more information about the event please email Portraits of Hope Media at media(at)portraitsofhope(dot)com

For media inquiries, please contact Jesse Lucas at Melrose PR Jesse(at)melrosepr(dot)com

About Portraits of Hope
Portraits of Hope, a 501 (c)(3) program, develops high-profile motivational art and civic projects that merge the production and exhibition of dynamic public art with creative therapy for hospitalized children, civic education for students in schools, and community engagement opportunities for people of all ages

Founded by brothers Ed Massey and Bernie Massey, the Portraits of Hope program is aimed at enriching the lives of children and adults - many who may be coping with serious illness, disabilities, adversity, or socio-economic challenges - through their participation in creative, educational, high-profile, one-of-a-kind projects

Portraits of Hope has involved tens of thousands of children and adults in huge civic collaborations - in the U.S. and abroad – that have visually transformed everything from airplanes, lakes, buildings, tugboats, and the New York City taxi fleet to LA’s coastal lifeguard towers, race cars, blimps, laundromats/lavanderias, and frontline fire and rescue vehicles, by working with organizations from NASA to NASCAR.

More than 1,000 hospitals, schools, and social service agencies have directly participated in Portraits of Hope projects in addition to a broad array of adult civic groups.

About our Partners
MADDIE’s FUND is a family foundation created in 1994 by Workday co-founder Dave Duffield and his wife, Cheryl, who have endowed the Foundation with more than $300 million directed toward increased community lifesaving, shelter medicine education, and pet adoptions across the U.S. The Duffields named Maddie's Fund after their Miniature Schnauzer Maddie, who always made them laugh and gave them great joy. Maddie's Fund is the fulfillment of a promise to an inspirational dog, investing its resources to create a no-kill nation where every dog and cat is guaranteed a healthy home or habitat. #ThanksToMaddie.

In the words of Maddie's Fund's Amy Zeifang, Executive Leadership Team, "This is a fabulous opportunity to harness the power of art to connect people with homeless pets. This artwork will represent that special bond between them. Research shows that 33 million people plan to acquire a pet this year, and only 7.2 million pets need to find homes." She continued, "This math is easy and we wholeheartedly believe this initiative will positively enhance the image of animal shelters in Los Angeles County, attracting the community to choose the shelter to adopt a pet, while also calling attention to the thousands of young people and community members who made it all possible!"

NIAGARA CARES, the philanthropic arm of Niagara Bottling, played an instrumental role in the success of The Spheres at MacArthur Park public art and civic project and was a key partner in assuring the direct participation of more than 10,000 children and adults for that POH initiative that culminated at the historic lake. Niagara Cares, which is dedicated to providing enriching opportunities to children across the U.S. -- many who are vulnerable and deal with significant medical and day to day challenges – committed their support for the latest POH initiative soon after learning about the project approval. Niagara Bottling, founded by Andrew Peykoff Sr. and now led by Andy Peykoff II, is one of the largest family owned and operated bottled water companies in the United States. #NiagaraCares     #NiagaraWater

Kristen Venick, who heads Niagara Cares, comes from a pediatrics hospital background and has personally participated at POH youth sessions; “We are so excited to work with Portraits of Hope again, to help revitalize animal shelters in hopes to encourage pet adoption, while providing a unique and innovative way of educating children in schools and hospitals. Niagara Cares is proud to support a project in our surrounding community in which our Team Members can make an impact.”

THE GOLDRICH FAMILY FOUNDATION has been involved in many POH projects over the years and family members have volunteered on nearly every one of them. Sisters Melinda and Andrea, Andrea's husband Barry and their kids have been hands-on at hospital, school, and community sessions in CA and CO. Because of their history with POH and their shared bond for the core elements of the project: serving children in hospitals and schools, visual art, and animal welfare, they offered to help propel the project at its inception recognizing the importance of providing initial funds. In addition to their grant, family members will again be helping hands-on at sessions. The Foundation was started by their late father, Jona, who embraced civic commitment and social responsibility on a global level.

FEDERAL REALTY INVESTMENT TRUST – Since public participation in Portraits of Hope projects is substantial, the location and quality of our headquarters -- the hub of our activities – is a very important element. Thanks to the continued civic spirit of Federal Realty -- and as in The Spheres at MacArthur Park project -- we will be headquartered at Plaza El Segundo for this latest POH undertaking (on Sepulveda just south of LAX and near the 105 and 405). This is a key development for POH as the vast majority of school and public sessions for the shelter revitalizations will be held at Plaza El Segundo except when we are off-site for hospital sessions, special social service sessions, or working with far-away communities or cities. Anyone involved in The Spheres at MacArthur Park project knows that an appealing and spacious HQ site with easy access to food, shops, and major thoroughfares is a great benefit.

VISTA PAINT previously partnered with POH for the Summer of Color coastal lifeguard towers project and recently for The Spheres at MacArthur Park. Vista will again be joining with Portraits of Hope for this latest civic initiative. Vista has generously committed to providing POH with as much of their excellent paints as needed to revitalize as many animal shelters as possible. Denise Berube, Vista Paint ambassador, is often seen helping out at POH youth and community sessions and the Vista team overall volunteers with POH regularly. When not helping POH projects pop with color, Vista paints can be seen on major urban projects including the restoration of UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion, LAPD Headquarters, The Hotel Bel Air, and various major museums, hospitals, and commercial centers.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Jesse Lucas
Melrose PR
+1 (310) 260-7901
Email >
@MelrosePR
since: 11/2011
Follow >
Melrose PR
since: 12/2011
Like >
Melrose Public Relations

Visit website