HeART Talks Program

HeArt Talks™ is the art based program used at all 11 Heritage Camps.

The model was designed in 1995 by Mimi Farrelly-​Hansen.

As an experienced child art therapist, former preschool and elementary school teacher, and parent of a daughter adopted from India, Mimi Farrelly Hansen created a sequence of HT10 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. From 1995 to 1999 HeArt Talks™ grew and developed exclusively at East Indian Heritage Camp (now Indian Nepalese Heritage Camps). In the year 2000 funding was obtained that allowed the program to expand to the 11 other heritage camps run by Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families.

HeArt Talks™ is conducted by licensed Art Therapy counselors and volunteers to facilitate the following three goals.

  1. To provide a safe place for transculturally and transracially adopted children and siblings to talk and make art.
  2. To reduce social isolation and promote empowerment via problem solving and art making.
  3. To foster positive self-​esteem through affirming cultural roots and role models and through completing age appropriate art tasks.

HeArt Talks™ lead facilitator Annice Johnson, MA, Family & Art Therapist

Annice is a psychotherapist and art therapist who works with children, adolescents, families, individuals, and couples addressing a variety of issues including adoption, attachment and relationship building, transracial/​transcultural parenting, and healing from trauma. Annice provides a safe, compassionate and nonjudgmental environment to discover strengths, empowerment, and authenticity. She is registered psychotherapist in the state of Colorado. Annice has her Masters in Art Therapy and Counseling from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. Her Bachelors of Science in Psychology with a double major in Studio Fine Arts was received from Mary Washington University in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

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