Casa de la Creatividad (“House of Creativity”) was founded by Anita Yeh Norrie, a former social worker with a master’s degree in art therapy. Casa de la Creatividad’s mission is to change and improve the lives of children through the creative art process. It does this by providing free art classes to the impoverished in Cozumel.
Short-term benefits to the children creating art include decreased levels of anxiety, lowered blood pressure, increased feelings of security and well-being and increased feelings of love and happiness. Studies have shown the long-term benefits of creativity include a more positive self-image as well as increased confidence and curiosity. As the children create art together, they develop an awareness of, and increased compassion toward, one another. In addition, feelings of community and friendship grow through making art together.
In January 2019, artist Jared Emerson created a collaborative mural along the perimeter wall of the Casa de la Creatividad building, using the handprints of neighborhood children to complete the masterpiece. Many residents and visitors to the community came to watch the mural take shape, a creation that stands today as a point of inspiration and hope.
A testimonial from a parent of one of the Casa de la Creatividad children (translated):
“I just want to tell you; you are making something amazing. Someday ago, I realized the kids of the neighborhood playing games after to make art in the house of creativity!! That is something beautiful. Watch they play together, smiling, being happy children!! I have lived here for 10 years and I've never seen them play together. Now I see every day after going with you.”