The Wheels On This Bus Are Bringing Art To Underserved Communities In Houston.

people gathered around tables outside of a renovated school bus called the "art bus" by htx art

Veronica Cabrera-Moreno loves being involved in her local art community — she’s known for volunteering and organizing events as well as helping existing programs use art to serve her neighbors — but during the pandemic, she’s discovered a brand new way to reach even more people in Houston.

For years, she’s been driven by her passion for bringing art to underserved areas, but finding easy, accessible ways to make that happen has always been a struggle. And that’s when it hit her: Instead of finding a way for them to come to her, what if she made her way to them?

With the help of her family, Veronica renovated an old school bus into a mobile art studio called HTX Art. Her sons, who are between the ages of 9 and 16, were a huge help when it came to coming up with creative and fun ways to paint the bus.

“I wasn’t sure how we were going to fund and supply it, but we dove in,” Veronica said. “With the encouragement of a few friends, I began a GoFundMe and an Amazon Wishlist, and the donations rolled in. Soon, the bus had all the supplies needed to get started and I was even donated a portable sink.”

With these donations, Veronica has been able to hold free art programs for people of all ages. She’s also had the opportunity to donate art supplies to children and art kits to an elderly and disabled facility. She has also organized community efforts in decorating Meals on Wheels bags and more!

“I have been able to do this with the support of different nonprofits who see the value in what I am doing and sponsor an 8-week program, a community event, or even an after-school program,” she said. “It brings identity and a voice to many who are looking for ways to express themselves. I have seen art as a power to help children grow into confident leaders of tomorrow.”

One of the reasons Veronica is so passionate about expression through art is from her own personal experience with it at a young age. Growing up, she’d often find her dad creating art. That’s why, when he passed away while she was still a child, she turned to art as a way to cope with her grief.

She found that, through art, she was able to better express how she felt, something that benefited both herself and others around her.

“I do believe that we were creatively and beautifully made and one of those things is that we need to be able to express that creativity out into the world,” Veronica said. “And sometimes we’re going through things … and we don’t really know how to verbalize that. But when it comes to a visual medium sometimes those things just relay onto that medium, and you can actually see, and the people around you can actually see what you’re feeling and what you’re going through.”

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