Tennessee children use art to express themselves during uncertain times

Updated: Sep. 24, 2020 at 10:21 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - There were over 40 submissions submitted into the “Stand for Children TN” art showcase.

The participants ranged from elementary to high school students.

Hadley Barnes was one of them who wrote a song called “Waiting” that she wrote when schools first shut down back in March.

“During the shelter in place part of quarantine, I was very bored,” said Hadley.

This fourth grader decided to write a song about waiting for the pandemic to be over so she can do something with her friends.

She wrote the lyrics and her dad crafted the cords on the guitar.

“We recorded a song she wrote over quarantine and we submitted it to our art teacher at Richland [Elementary],” said Hadley’s father Phil Barnes.

Hadley’s teacher submitted it to the “This is 2020: Meaningful Stories, Artful Healing Showcase.”

The non-profit “Stand for Children TN” asked children across Shelby County to use art to express what they’re feeling about things like the COVID-19 pandemic and the protests over the untimely deaths of people like Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

“Not only is it affecting families and parents and educators, but it’s affecting our young people in ways we may not be able to measure for years to come,” said Paul Barnes who is the outreach director for the organization.

Hadley’s parents have taken a hands on approach by taking their daughter to see a protest in person and allowing her to ask any questions she might have. about the fight for racial equality.

For this fourth grader, it was pretty simple.

“Pretty much, if it will ever be better than this,” said Hadley.

The unknown can be scary for children.

Stand for Children TN says using art to channel emotions can be helpful.

To see some of the art in the showcase, click here.

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