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Anne Ostholthoff

Creating Pride was founded by Anne Ostholthoff in 1992 when she was inspired to create a painting with 161 students from St. Joseph School in the Cabrini-Green inner-city neighborhood of Chicago. She was overwhelmed by the pride in the children's eyes as they presented their artwork publicly. After the project, a student approached Anne and said, "Miss Anne, are we having art next week?" With no formal plan in place, Anne answered "Yes!" and Creating Pride was born.

For the next three years, Anne led various school wide art projects and put together a business plan for a nonprofit organization. She recruited a Board of Directors and began hiring contract artists as she could afford. As teachers began to work with Anne, and became more familiar with the arts, they started requesting regular art instruction for their children. As a result, Creating Pride set out to determine the best way to accommodate these teachers needs and wants. Providing the art instruction weekly proved ineffective, as teachers received no direct benefit other than a coffee break while someone else helped their students engage in real learning! Asking teachers to provide art activities themselves with no developmental support was also fruitless. The result was the formation of the "Art Hour". This simple method of asking the entire school to engage in some creative activity simultaneously proved extremely successful as teachers became the center of the organizations focus. During this time, Anne visited each classroom and provided art project ideas, encouragement and, at times, art supplies. At after-school faculty meetings, she challenged teachers to try new ideas and stretch their own creative abilities. This has developed into what is now a primary component of Creating Pride's work and the focus of one of our two central programs: teacher development.

Meanwhile, a friend at Leo Burnett Company heard about the St. Joseph painting and inquired about purchasing a smaller student artwork for her office. Other individuals from McDonald's, Winston & Strawn, and Harris Bank soon followed. As corporate executives called in orders, students hand-delivered their artwork to the executives' offices. Beaming with pride, the children were amazed to be taken seriously. The funds they earned went back into the school as art supplies and programs the teachers requested. This process eventually grew into what is now Creating Pride's Corporate Art Program.

Previously, Anne was employed as an Advertising Executive servicing major Fortune 500 clients such as Procter & Gamble, Frito-Lay and Nestle Foods in advertising agencies such as BBDO, Saatchi & Saatchi and J. Walter Thompson. She earned a BS in Communications from Georgia State University, a Master of Science in Advertising from Northwestern University in Evanston, and her MFA in Painting from the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Her honors include receiving the Hero Award from the Chicago Juvenile Protection Agency in 1999, participating as a Chicago Public School Principal for a Day in 1999 and 2000 and being nominated as for the Target Arts Education Abby Award through the Arts & Business Council of Atlanta, GA. She is a member of several professional organizations including the Core Knowledge Network, the Education Leaders Council, and the Partnership for Family Involvement in Education, and the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. Anne is married to Robert Ostholthoff and is also engaged in bringing up their son Joseph.

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