Nearing the end of her mother’s life, Krickett realized that through all of the hardships her mother had suffered in her life, she never had anyone to support her physically or emotionally. She had been married twice, the first time as a teenager, and had suffered abuse at the hands of her first husband. Although her second husband, Krickett’s father, loved her, he wasn’t really able to provide her with the healing love she needed. Perhaps, by that time, no one could. But one thing Krickett recognized was that if her mother had only had a healthy, positive, creative outlet, she might have been much better off. One of her mother’s fondest dreams was to learn how to paint with watercolors. Sadly, she never had the opportunity.

Krickett’s background in child development and her work with young children has emphasized to her the need youngsters have for developing their self-expression, autonomy, resilience, and self-confidence. Through her work with Drum to LEARN, Inc., she has seen how creative self-expression can build resilience and confidence to overcome shyness, fears, and low self-esteem. In honor of her mother, who never had the opportunity to develop these skills, she founded the m.a.r.y. foundation.

The m.a.r.y. foundation is dedicated to exploring and utilizing the creative arts as vehicles to help children develop healthy methods of expression, coping skills, and greater confidence, so they may navigate through life with poise and grace.

Our Vision is to bring the experience of the creative arts to ALL children, and impress upon our community the importance of helping them to establish healthy foundations of creative self-expression and self-confidence so they can become productive, well-balanced and happy adults.

We provide these activities via work­shops, activity camps, classroom social settings, and community events. Our programs include all of the arts – drawing, painting, theater, music, and dance in formats that engage and instruct youth and develop their social, emotional and life skills.

The m.a.r.y. foundation is currently funded by individual cash donations and fundraising events. We’ve established an annual “m.a.r.y.’s day” family-friendly event which includes free workshops, art-car making and racing, Bingo games and a prize drawing. “Eat, Drink and Be m.a.r.y.” is a social event with refreshments, music, an arts work table, a silent auction for collaborative pieces that our children have created, and a live auction for the children’s individual works. Our first one was a lot of fun and we anticipate having an even better time in 2016! Since we try to keep our workshops free, contributions are always welcome.

The m.a.r.y. foundation is located in Encino, California, and is operated from our founder’s home, where Krickett currently hosts our monthly workshops and smaller events. Larger gatherings are held at appropriate venues in and around the San Fernando Valley. We’re on the lookout for viable/affordable space where we can accommodate larger groups of children in the near future.

Our monthly workshops currently accommodate around a dozen or so children at a time. We’re anticipating considerable growth in the next year as our website and Facebook presence becomes more widespread, and families hear about us via word-of-mouth. Our workshop participants typically come from the neighborhood and nearby schools. Since Krickett visits many schools in the area with her Drum to LEARN program, those children come to participate, too. People who already know us are inviting their friends… and everyone has a great time.

We’ve been asked if we also serve children with special needs or who are “under-privileged.” Although we don’t have a way at this time to specifically reach out to that demographic, and we are not set up with trained staff to address children with special needs, we will serve ANY child who wants and is able to participate. If a parent wants to bring their child to a workshop, and is willing to help and support us in working with their child, they are more than welcome to attend and we will make whatever accommodations we can. We do not exclude anyone on the basis of race, creed, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical disability, color, religion, national origin, or any other basis.

There are plenty of articles out there which emphasize the importance of ART in a child’s development. We’re putting those ideas and concepts into play with our programs. Our website has links to a variety of resources, but some of our very favorite quotes are these:

“If [children] are exploring and thinking and experimenting and trying new ideas, then creativity has a chance to blossom.”

~MaryAnn Kohl, arts educator and author


“Children need to know more about the world than just what they can learn through text and numbers. Art education teaches students how to interpret, criticize, and use visual information, and how to make choices based on it.”

~Dr Kerry Freedman, Head of Art and Design Education

at Northern Illinois University


“The kind of people society needs to make it move forward are think­ing, inventive people who seek new ways and improvements, not people who can only follow directions…. Art is a way to encourage the process and the experience of thinking and making things better.”

~MaryAnn Kohl