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Hero Creative Healing Through Art Heart, Cristina Figueredo Zizold brightens the outlook of children struggling with illness locally and around the world. T e x t by Jacqu ely n B enso n Ph otos co ur t e sy o f Ar t H e ar t “E very child’s heart is made for joy,” says Cristina Figueredo Zizold. It’s a truth that she’s witnessed firsthand in her work with Art Heart, a non-profit she founded that provides art classes and events for kids undergoing treatment at children’s hospitals. Figueredo Zizold is full of stories about her experiences with these struggling children, who continually move her with their inspiring outlook on life. “In one of our projects with the children we asked them to create a work using words,” she recalls. “One of the children drew a simple portrait 44 with the words ‘Laugh Now, Cry Later,’ and in another one wrote, ‘Life Is To Be Lived’.” Figueredo Zizold has a long history of respect and enthusiasm for volunteering, which was strongly encouraged in high school as well as by the example of her father. The idea for Art Heart was born while she was researching her thesis in art history, and realized the importance of adapting her skills and talents to serve the community. She now leads a dedicated group of artists and volunteers helping Miami kids, partnering with the Key Biscayne Community Foundation as a fiscal sponsor. As an artist and art appreciator, Figueredo Zizold has much to offer the kids she works with. Her work has been exhibited in Miami, New York & London, and she’s also the co-founder of ArtistaMundo.com, an online artistic community. Combine that with experience in education outreach and journalism, and you’ve got a creative and effective communicator capable of making a significant difference in the lives of the next generation. Figueredo Zizold hopes to continue her work with Art Heart, providing children and their families undergoing treatment new creative outlets — that is, when she’s not busy running after her own child, very active 3-year-old Victoria. She’s also quick to share the credit for the organization’s success so far. “When artists come together, they make beautiful things happen,” she says. “The work and service that we provide is made possible through the commitment of our volunteers and the support from local residents, businesses and organizations.” To learn more, get involved or make a contribution to Art Heart, contact Cristina Figueredo Zizold at Cristina@ ArtHeart.org visit ArtHeart.org.