Press – June 29th
Press - June 29th

Executive Director Yorleni Sapp, right, welcomes attendees to Closet on Main for the Single Mothers Outreach Empowering HeArts kickoff event to pair artists and honorees attending in Newhall on Saturday, 062521. Dan Watson/The Signal

Single Mothers Outreach Pairs Artists with Parents

“Basically, we pair the artists from this community with honorees that embody the theme of the year, and this year is ‘Survivor,’” said Yorleni Sapp, executive director of SMO. “And from now until November, these artists are going to perform to create a piece of art based on the story of this woman.”

“We’re really trying to take women in our community that has embraced challenges and really honor them and recognize them for persevering,” said John Vance, chairman of the SMO board.

Sapp said the theme was chosen because, she said, every single parent is a survivor.

“They have survived abandonment, they have survived domestic violence, they have survived human trafficking and they have survived being single parents — just being a dad or a mom in a journey alone,” she said.

This year, SMO chose six artists and six honorees from a number of applications, and they said they chose the six best stories and the six best portfolios from artists.

One such honoree, Jessica Delazari, a mother of two who has worked with the program extensively over the last year, said she had been able to escape a domestic violence situation with her then 2-month-old and 4-year-old.

Press - June 29th

Lisette Ferguson, right, makes a presentation from NewMark (cq) Merrill to Single Mothers Outreach President John Vance, left,, during the Single Mothers Outreach Empowering HeArts kickoff event to pair artists and honorees attending in Newhall on Saturday

Press - June 29th

Honorees Melanie Meyer, left, and Gladys Blanco, right, chat with artists at Closet on Main for the Single Mothers Outreach Empowering HeArts kickoff event to pair artists with honorees in Newhall on Saturday, 062521. Dan Watson/The Signal

When the pandemic hit last year, not only was Delazari working her way through her college courses, raising her children on her own with little to no assistance, and still dealing with the trauma from the previous violent relationship, but also COVID-19 resulted in her losing her job.

Artist Aazam Irilian said she had participated in the event for the past four to five years, saying for each honoree she decides from a variety of mediums to tell their story. Upon the unveiling of the piece, they’ve been working on together for a couple of months, many times the women break down in tears at the sight of their portraits.

“I think what it does is it validates them,” said Irilian. “It gives them a boost of confidence after all the hardship and adversity that they went through.”

“And they are the place that they are living, for lack of a better word, than normal life, versus where they were,” said Irilian. “It is just a kind of benchmark for all that they’ve accomplished.”

For more information about Single Mothers Outreach, the organization’s upcoming events, and/or how to get involved, visit https://singlemothersoutreach.org/

To read the complete article please visit signalscv.com

Press - June 29th
Press - June 29th

Client Jessica Delazari reads a letter she wrote to Single Mothers Outreach, thanking them for all their assistance through the years at Closet on Main during the Single Mothers Outreach Empowering HeArts kickoff event in Newhall on Saturday, 062521. 

Participating artists Alex Mouton and Brielle Oakley meet during the Single Mothers Outreach Empowering HeArts kickoff event at Closet on Main in Newhall on Saturday, 062521. Dan Watson/The Signal

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