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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