Welcome to Art Relief International

Art Relief International works to transform the lives of struggling social groups in Chiang Mai, Thailand by offering them the opportunity to express themselves through an artistic lens.

Art changes lives. It is both a powerful means of expression and a recognized means of therapy – two things that are vital in the lives of ARI participants. ARI works to cultivate creativity, create an atmosphere of inclusion for groups that are often cast out and ignored, and encourage social change.


Our volunteer-based organization relies on dedicated and open-minded individuals looking to make a creative difference in the world. This unique opportunity to volunteer in Thailand rewards both volunteers and ARI program participants alike.

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  • Choose Your Moves, Young Lions! 3 Feb 2016 | 9:11 pm

    Growing up, I remember fortune tellers being one of the most popular recess or lunchtime games. Also known as "cootie catchers", we used our amateur origami skills to predict our futures. First, we'd pose a yes/no question. Then we'd choose a color on the outside flaps and spell it out, opening and closing the mouth of the fortune teller for every letter. We picked a number on the inside, counted it out, and then picked another number. The answer to our question was underneath the number flap: "yes", "no", "maybe so", "no way", 'try again", "I think you know"... We could spend hours asking questions and choosing our destinies!

    I decided fortune tellers would be an awesome way to teach our Young Lions some English words, and get them out of their seats at the same time! What was also exciting to see was that the kids were familiar with fortune tellers, and some knew how to fold the fortune tellers already. It was amazing to see this connection between their childhoods and my own (maybe I'm not so old school, after all)! But for this workshop, we used the fortune tellers for something totally different: instead of writing answers to yes/no questions, the Young Lions wrote down English words they could act out. They'd take turns choosing their moves, and at the same time they learned those moves in English.

    The Lions loved it. In no time they were dancing,…