HeArt Talks™ — for elementary-age kids

The model was designed in 1995 by Mimi Farrelly-​Hansen, an experienced child art therapist, former preschool and elementary school teacher, and parent of a daughter adopted from India. Farrelly-Hansen created a sequence of age-appropriate art interventions that would facilitate conversation among children about their experiences of being adopted and raised by American families in the United States. These art activities, developed for each age group of children and youth, were designed with an understanding of the developmental stages of adoption awareness.

HeArt Talks™ is conducted by licensed art therapy counselors and volunteers with a focus on the following goals:

  • Provide a safe place for transculturally and transracially adopted children and siblings to talk and make art.
  • Reduce social isolation and promote empowerment via problem solving and art making.
  • Foster positive self-​esteem through affirming cultural roots and role models and through completing age appropriate art tasks.

HeArt Talks™ Director, Gracie Bueno

Gracie R Bueno, MA, is a registered psychotherapist in the state of Colorado and received her Masters in Mental Clinical Health Counseling with an emphasis in Transpersonal Art Therapy from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado.  Her Bachelors consists of a Double Major in Studio Fine Art and Psychology from The University of Texas.  Gracie has over 13 years of experience working with children, adolescents, families, and individuals addressing a variety of issues including foster care, adoption, attachment, transracial and transcultural parenting and family development, and healing from trauma.  She continues to progress her passion for healthy family and life dynamics, education, and her enthusiasm for improving people’s lives.  Gracie is bilingual in English and Spanish and incorporates Art Therapy in her work from a trauma-informed lens.  This is her fifth year with HeArt Talks and her first year as Program Director.