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Here at the Anna Akhmatova Museum, the forgotten people of St. Petersburg - the homeless and disabled - are learning art. It turns out that some of them have remarkable artistic talent. Professional artists from the museum are teaching today's class.
This is a master class in art for homeless persons with disabilities. Today they are studying art under the guidance of professionals in St. Petersburg. Many participants in the master class have been on the street for 10 years. Now there is hope for a better future working on canvases.
The homeless artists are hoping to get help from the state to stay in boarding school and find useful work in society.
[Maksim Goryachev, Homeless, Disabled Person]:
"I strive to ensure that I will have a family, I believe in it. I want a family, my own house, a dog for my children..."
Drawing provides an opportunity for self-expression.
[Yuri Plescheev, Homeless, Disabled Person]:
"It gives you a lot: you think more, relax, and create."
The museum staff have held these master classes with the help of other charitable organizations for the past three years. They believe the lessons have a positive effect.
[Dmitry Shagin, Artist]:
"The main thing is that they not stop their creativity nor fear the material. They have to take on a bigger oil canvas -- fiberboard, and begin to draw in an adult manner. This is my advice to them."
It's all a part of a holistic approach.
[Maria Korosteleva, Head, Akhmatova Museum]:
"In the Pokrovskaja community these people can find psychological assistance as well as shelter and food. And the art therapeutic approach is part of this assistance."
Organizers of the master class are hoping for help from patrons to fund materials and further development.
NTD News, St. Petersburg, Russia