FRANKFORT — Attorney General Andy Beshear joined wife Britainy Beshear, children from Volunteers of America Mid-States and the organization’s President and CEO Jennifer Hancock recently to open a new Hope Gallery art exhibit in Frankfort.
The Hope Gallery, located in the main lobby of the Office of the Attorney General in the state Capitol, features paintings from nearly 20 children and infants who are part of the Volunteers of America family.
Britainy Beshear serves on the board at Maryhurst in Louisville, and founded the Hope Gallery during Child Abuse Prevention Month in April 2016 to raise awareness for the children and families in Kentucky who face adversities and to highlight art therapy programs.
“It is my hope that the gallery helps each artist to have a feeling of pride in knowing that their voice is heard each and every day,” she said. “I appreciate the staff, volunteers and parents with Volunteers of America Mid-States who have helped these children find healing and self-expression through the Hope Gallery.”
The Hope Gallery also displayed artwork in 2016 from Maryhurst and the Family Scholar House students. Before the Hope Gallery, the lobby of the Office of the Attorney General displayed photos of previous Kentucky attorneys general. These photos are now featured in a room of the AG’s office next to the lobby.
Attorney General Beshear said some of the proudest personal moments he has had this year center around the Hope Gallery and witnessing the real and positive impact it has had on the participating children and organizations and the many visitors to his office who view the gallery.
“The gallery is an inspiring and constant reminder of why the Attorney General’s Office must do everything in its power to protect Kentucky’s children,” he said.
The current exhibit features work from 16 of the nearly 50 children living in Volunteers of America’s Louisville Family Housing Services, which serves families overcoming homelessness. The exhibit also has the work of three newborns and their mothers living in Volunteers of America’s Freedom House Program, a residential addiction treatment program for pregnant mothers.
The exhibit also draws attention to Volunteers of America Mid-States Inc.’s vital work of providing health care, housing and addiction recovery services to thousands of Kentucky families each year.
“Volunteers of America is honored to feature the art of the children we serve in the Hope Gallery,” Hancock said. “The children we work with are faced with our society’s most challenging and complex social problems such as homelessness and addiction, and to see their creative point of view after everything they have experienced brings my colleagues and I hope. Children are extremely resilient, and everyone who visits the Hope Gallery will see just that. We appreciate Attorney General Beshear and Mrs. Beshear for their continued support of the children that we serve, and their advocacy for the children across the Commonwealth.”
Hancock said the organization offers a variety of addiction, developmental disabilities, HIV, housing and veteran services in Ashland, Elizabethtown and multiple locations in Lexington and Louisville.
AG Beshear brought his and Britainy’s commitment to Kentucky’s children and families to the Office of the Attorney General through a specific four-part mission – prevent child abuse, protect seniors from scams, seek justice for victims of sexual assault and find workable solutions to our drug epidemic.
This year Beshear’s work to prevent child abuse led to the arrest of more online child predators than any year in the history of the office. Beshear’s office partnered to provide the most comprehensive statewide child abuse prevention training ever offered, and Beshear established the AG’s office as the leading agency fighting human trafficking, a modern-day form of slavery that often involves children forced into sex or labor trading.
To fight against the pervasive substance-abuse epidemic, Beshear’s office provided $8 million from a settlement the office secured against the drugmaker of OxyContin. The funds went directly to 15 substance treatment centers across Kentucky, including nearly $700,000 to Volunteers of America’s Freedom House in Louisville.
For more information on the work of the Office of the Attorney General and Attorney General Beshear visit, ag.ky.gov. To learn more about the services provided by Volunteers of America Mid-States Inc. visit, https://www.voamid.org.