For more than a decade, Mill Valley artist Leslie Lakes has sought to find ways support incarcerated artists and their families through a variety of creative events and programs via her nonprofit organization, P.A.T.H.: Prison Arts Touching Hearts.

So when she found out that Sunday, Sept. 9 was National Teddy Bear Day, Lakes hatched a plan to have a teddy bear-themed tea party for children hosted and catered by the Book Passage in Corte Madera, thus raising money to provide teddy bears to the children of incarcerated artists in California. 

The event, set for 3-4:30pm, includes activities like teddy bear book storytelling by Book Passage staff, temporary teddy bear tattoo applications, teddy bear healthy eating coloring book, teddy bear face paintingballoons, books, and a take-home goody bag for each attendee.  

Lakes will also have teddy bear-themed baskets and art available for suggested donation drawing purposes. Monica May Design will be on hand to take photos of the event.

The event is also a collaboration with Can Do Clemency Teddy Bear Care Program in Malibu, Calif., and Kids Cooking for Life in San Rafael. The San Bruno-based Marine Toys for Tots will help P.A.T.H. distribute the teddy bears at various State prisons prior to the winter holidays. 

Lakes was first introduced to artwork by incarcerated artists in 2005 when The Fortune Society in NYC sponsored their “Fifth Annual Inmate Art Auction.” She bid on several pieces of artwork, and was amazed by what she received.

“I was so blown away by the sheer talent that I asked to write back to the respective artists to share and show my appreciation,” Lakes says. “Over the years, I have had the unique opportunity and pleasure to get to know many of these incredibly talented individuals. P.A.T.H. was formed from the heart; a labor of love and from my long-standing desire to create a platform to showcase their incredible artistic talent.”

Lakes says P.A.T.H. is also designed to provide a platform for a “much needed voice and validation to incarcerated artists, while providing them with a vehicle to give back to the community in a meaningful and powerful way – through their art.”

The 411: P.A.T.H.‘s Teddy Bear Tea Party to raise money to provide teddy bears to Marin children of incarcerated parents is set for Sunday, September 9 from 3-4:30pm at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Road, Corte Madera. Tix. $35. MORE INFO & TIX.

Want to know what’s happening around town? Click here to subscribe to the Enjoy Mill Valley Blog by Email!