Inspired: Rachel Lloyd

If you don’t know the work of Rachel Lloyd and GEMS (Girls Educational and Mentoring Services) you should. The trailer above is from a documentary GEMS created to raise awareness about trafficking in the U.S. GEMS provides support to girls who are victims of commercial sexual exploitation in the United States (Trailor removed due to unrelated disturbing images that show up after the clip per YouTube. Go here for more information: Don’t know what this is? Here’s how GEMS explains it:

The commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) and domestic trafficking is defined as:

  • The sexual abuse and remuneration in money, goods, or services, or the promise of money, goods, or services to the child or a third person or persons.
  • An element of organization and/or intent and/or the context of the commercial sex industry.
  • A child who is treated as a commercial and sexual object.
  • A form of violence against children.
  • Trafficking within the United States.
GEMS offers a unique and powerful model through which to understand sex trafficking and to conceptualize the ways services can be provided. NCASI is looking to organizations like these and activists like Rachel Lloyd to deepen our awareness of trafficking and its effect on a global population.
Check out this great interview:

Meet Matchbox Artist Dottie Oatman


Often I see something or read something and say to myself, “I HAVE to paint that.”  I don’t always know why, but a force in me prevails—I paint.  I paint with my senses.  My paintings capture a sense of wonder and delight in the sensual beauty that surrounds us daily. I want my paintings to come alive with freshness, to sing with color, to wallow in rich shadows. Sometimes I find myself telling a kind of story through my paintings, perhaps clearly a drama between the images or characters painted, or at other times, not so clearly, a suggested relationship between objects on a table or a vase of flowers past their prime. I love the spontaneity of watercolor painting. I love to experiment in some way with each new painting, following the question of “what would happen if…??”  I am always learning something new in my painting process, or re-learning old things temporarily forgotten.

I grew up in Kansas City and loved art making from the very beginning, creating my own greeting card company at age 8, Crassberry Card Company, with the slogan, “Quality Counts”.  I took lots of art classes at Colorado College and following college went to graduate school in art therapy at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. It is here where I started painting with Bernie Levy and got hooked.  I’ve been exploring watercolor painting ever since. I’m currently most inspired by artists Frida Kahlo, Marc Chagall, Wolf Kahn, Charles Reid, and all sorts of folk art from Mexico.

Upon moving to Boulder in 1982, I worked many years as an art therapist with abused and neglected children, taught art in the Artstart program at the Arvada Center, and then taught in the graduate program in art therapy at The Naropa University from 1992-2001.  In 1998, my husband, two daughters and I lived in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico for one year where I painted, learned Spanish, flamenco dance, and had an exhibit of my paintings at Galeria Duo Duo before leaving.

I continued painting images from this Mexico experience long after returning to Boulder and kept speaking Spanish while running “La Noche de Artesanias” a program through Boulder Housing Partners that offered group art experiences for Mexican immigrant families in low-income housing, from 2001-2007.  I am now teaching painting classes, exhibiting my work, practicing art therapy, taking flamenco dance, and trying to keep up my Spanish.  I am excited to be offering painting tours to Mexico, Spain, and perhaps beyond, in the future.


Purchase your tickets to the Small Resources=Big Possibilities Art Auction here: TICKETS!!

Meet Matchbox Artist Julia Lunk

Julia Lunk began exhibiting her work in 2004 most notably in Boulder, Lyons and Aspen. Her paintings and prints are softly colored, sometimes whimsically, often carrying themes encompassing children, animals, and childlike innocence. (from this site)

Purchase your tickets to the Small Resources=Big Possibilities Art Auction here: TICKETS!!

Meet Matchbox Artist Ira Fail

Ira Fail is a painter and graphic artist living in Boulder, CO. See more of work here:

Purchase your tickets to the Small Resources=Big Possibilities Art Auction here: TICKETS!

… the matchboxes art pieces are coming in!

Matchbox Art by Paul Barchilon

We are so excited to begin receiving the matchboxes created by local artists! With each piece that comes in our anticipation of the Small Resources=Big Possibilities fundraiser builds. The pieces are amazing- thoughtful, powerful, beautiful.

We cannot tell you what an honor it has been to see the project become a community endeavor. Every contact we make increases awareness of sex trafficking and offers the opportunity to take action. Don’t miss your chance to get involved- get your ticket to the Small Resources=Big Possibilities Art Auction today. Purchase your ticket here: TICKETS!

This week we picked up artwork from Vivian Long, Millicent Kang, Cherly Whitehall, Marcela Ot’alora G, and Paul Barchilon. Stay tuned for more!

Meet Matchbox Artist Suzanne Frazier

Artist Statement

“The paintings sometimes have the look of a Rothko color field painting.
Suzanne’s goal is not to depict a scene.
It’s to depict her contemplation of a scene.”
Quentin Young, Longmont Times-Call

With my work, I invite you to a peaceful place, reminding you to look around the corner of buildings and through the tree branches, to the sky filled with clouds and beautiful sunrise/sunset colors, that mystics call, the “crack in the sky between heaven and earth”. It is a special time of day, when the numinous is present, and one feels awe and beauty.

As a contemplative artist, the seed of inspiration arises from within the depths of my soul and moves into the creative process when I assimilate an ordinary life experience into my contemplative exploration.

After years of research and meditation, I arrived at a definition for contemplative art:

the product of creative expression arising out of the pure joy of creating, grounded in a contemplative connection to the “radiance and perfection” of spirit known only through one’s experience of being fully human.

Polaris Project: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Check out this blog from Polaris Project and their visual collaboration of people taking a stand against sex trafficking: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words.

Polaris Project was founded 10 years ago to fight sex trafficking and has contributed mass amounts of collaboration, research, advocacy, and victim assistance during their 10 years. Here’s what they have to say about their work:

Named after the North Star that guided slaves towards freedom along the Underground Railroad, Polaris Project has been providing a comprehensive approach to combating human trafficking and modern-day slavery since 2002.

Polaris Project is a leading organization in the United States combating all forms of human trafficking and serving both U.S. citizens and foreign national victims, including men, women, and children. We use a holistic strategy, taking what we learn from our work with survivors and using it to guide the creation of long-term solutions. We strive for systemic change by advocating for stronger federal and state laws, operating the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline 1.888.3737.888, and providing services to help our clients and all victims of human trafficking. (from

Meet Matchbox Artist Mimi Farelly-Hensen

Mimi Farrelly-Hansen, LPC, A.T.R.-BC, is an art therapist, artist, educator and author. For 25 years she has brought creative services to a wide variety of children, youth and adults ranging from persons with trauma histories or severe and persistent brain disorders to those seeking inner guidance and renewed vitality in times of stress, spiritual crisis or mid-life transition. A registered art therapist (A.T.R.) and licensed professional counselor (LPC), Mimi’s familiarity with inpatient and outpatient settings make her a skillful consultant and clinical supervisor.Mimi pioneered art therapy’s introduction into the state of Colorado. In 1978 she helped organize the Art Therapy Association of Colorado; in the late 80’s and early 90’s she taught undergraduate art therapy classes at the University of Colorado in Denver and the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Boulder; in 1992 she founded Colorado’s first graduate art therapy program at Naropa University, a program which she initially directed, then taught in part-time until 2004. Currently she focuses on providing workshops on creativity and self care to mental health service providers, on monthly women’s art retreats, and on teaching week-end workshops/classes based on her book, Spirituality and Art Therapy: Living the Connection (2001).

Mimi’s deep connection to the natural world is reflected in her personal art making and in the workshops/retreats she leads. Her paintings and monoprints often feature specific plants and animals in highly textured, abstract color fields. Other large acrylic paintings use recognizable natural forms to explore mythical themes. Mimi exhibits regularly with Longmont’s annual Studio Tour. (from

Purchase your tickets to the Small Resources=Big Possibilities Art Auction here: TICKETS!

Inspired: Chab Dai’s work with sex trafficking in Cambodia

Chab Dai is a collaboration of organizations working to fight sex trafficking. Founded in Cambodia in 2005,  the organization aims to bring an end to trafficking and sexual exploitation through coalition building, community prevention, advocacy and research. In addition to our office in Cambodia, the vision of Chab Dai has been expanded into the USA and Canada. (from their website

They just released the 2nd annual report on re-integration of victims of trafficking. In this report Chab Dai conducts interviews with survivors of trafficking in an effort to understand what is most helpful to them, what contributes to resilience, where survivors are vulnerable, and what their major concerns are.

Below are a few quotes from the report. These quotes reflect some of the thoughts and struggles survivors of sex trafficking deal with in the process of re-integrating into their communities. You can view the full report here: Chab Dai Report 

“Now I know that there are good people and bad people in the world. After my bad
experience I thought there were only bad people in the world, but now I know that
there are both kinds. I think getting counseling is helping me to learn to trust good
In-depth Interview, Female in RP (RP stands for Residential Program)

“We should hide in the shelter and wait until the problem we had in our past goes away,
and as it goes we can forget about the people outside as they forget about us. So when
we come out [of the shelter] we can know we are not the same even if society still says
we are bad.”
In-depth Interview, Female in RP

“I don’t know how much she earned as a sex work but I know having sex with men was
breaking her heart. Her only goal was to get enough money to support her parents.”
In-depth Interview, Female in RP

“My friend returned to sex work. She said she did because she could only !nd work on
other people’s farms and could only earn 10000R per day and that was not enough to
survive. She said she could earn more money doing sex work. I think she can earn money
now but when she get old and if she gets HIV her life will not end good.”
In-depth Interview, Female in RP

Transitions Global Presents Shine Career School

Transitions Global has been working on a big new initiative. The Shine Career School will offer career training to girls who have been sex trafficking in Cambodia. The school will serve girls from Transitions Global as well as from other after care programs.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

(see more at and on Facebook at

Transitions Shine Career School

At Transitions we believe every girl in our program deserves the highest level of dignity and opportunity we can provide. We also believe every girl is capable of achieving her dreams with the right support and encouragement.  We don’t allow girls to settle for what society has told them they are capable of, like sewing and handy-crafts; we know they can do so much more.

Every girl in our program studies English and computer technology and then goes on to find her dream. Shine Career School provides a firsthand opportunity to train girls in any career field they choose, and will serve to overcome the gap in training choices, by providing a high quality learning environment.  Shine will facilitate teaching opportunities for professionals around the world, in a variety of fields, to come to Cambodia and teach, while empowering survivors with the skills and knowledge they need to take control of their lives.

Shine will mirror our current program model and be fully social work focused and trauma-informed, toward healthy reintegration into Cambodian society. Our goal is to give girls the best opportunity to achieve their dreams and  have a successful future, while assisting graduates in job placement or business start-up, ensuring the highest chance of success.

They will be offering training in…

♥  Soft Skills/Job Readiness
♥  Modern Photography
♥  Running a Small Business
♥  Social Work
♥  Leadership
♥  Media and Communications
♥  Medical Assistance
♥  Fashion Design
♥  Modern Art

To offer your professional skills to Shine Career School, please email:

Modern photography?!  Fashion Design?! Modern Art?! Well, the NCAS-I team is definitely excited and full of creative ideas…