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Giving Tuesday 2023 - The Zentangle Foundation

Giving Tuesday 2023 - The Zentangle Foundation

It has been almost five years since the Zentangle Foundation was officially recognized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The journey started in 2015 when a CZT reached out to Rick and Maria with an offer of a donation to support others to attend training to become Certified Zentangle Teachers. As with all projects at Zentangle, with careful and deliberate strokes, one stroke at a time, the foundation was established.

Over these years, the foundation has supported programs for professional and personal caregivers, people struggling with substance use, people living with cancer, people experiencing mental health conditions and programs to help teens and young adults. The Zentangle Foundation has also sponsored a study on the effects of a tangling practice on persons experiencing serious mental illness. Also core to the mission is the support of training new Certified Zentangle Teachers. Every scholarship recipient has very compelling stories of how they plan to use and share the Zentangle Method.

One of this year’s recipients went on to teach at a summer upward bound program. All the students served are from low income or first-generation families that want to pursue education beyond high school.  The goal of teaching the Zentangle Method to these students was to help students develop habits that promote relaxation and well-being to counter the stressors of high school and college life. As part of the program, the CZT had the students fill out a reflection on taking the Zentangle class. Below are some of the responses.

“In this class I experienced what it means to trust my creativity. To find peace in making mistakes rather than stressing over them. That’s what made me fall in love with this class. …..I especially loved when after we were done with our work we’d take a second to appreciate what we did.”

“Because of what I experienced in this class, I now have a fun way of relaxing with a great piece of artwork as a bonus.”

“The experience of Zentangle has gradually impacted my life & lifestyle. When I first came into the class, I had a different perspective/mindset than I do now. I thought that even when trying, that my dreams and goals were unattainable, out of reach. But then [the teacher] said something the very first day and it’s something I’ll probably remember for the rest of my life (I swear I’m not exaggerating anything, this really did happen in my brain). [She] said “anything’s possible one stroke at a time”. And every day since then I have kept that in the back of my mind, anything’s possible one stroke at a time. I would never have had the motivation to do the day to day things if I hadn’t heard that 6 weeks ago. Since then, I have become slightly more outgoing, more organized, and less stressed. All because I took baby steps, one step at a time, one stroke at a time. Because Zentangle showed me that I really can achieve something one stroke at a time.”

 These reflections are what energize the foundation, the impact that practicing and sharing the Zentangle Method can have. The following are reflections from teachers and participants in programs that received grants from the Zentangle Foundation in 2023.

“We were gifted a beautiful kit to use that day and take home with us, and what a gift that was. I couldn’t wait to get home and continue creating, it was so freeing for me. I didn’t realize how much art could help in my healing, but soon discovered that art therapy actually reduces my stress and anxiety, helps to focus my mind, keeps me calm, and mostly brings me joy.”

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Zentangle sessions. They have filled me with hope, support & creativity. This program has been an integral part of my healing journey. I always look forward to each session. I have formed friendships with the participants and leaders. I always feel encouraged, inspired, & filled with love.”

 “I can tell you the experience was incredible. We taught some as young as 5 and as old as ninety+. The feedback in the room was amazing.”

“Thank you again for your help and support in bringing Zentangle into this space. Mental illness and particularly mental illness in older persons is an area of our health system that is often overlooked with patients marginalised and staff exhausted, so to be able to do something positive in this space is fantastic”

“The other day we were Zentangling with a small group of patients and one lady with a major mental illness, early dementia and chronic back pain was due medication for her pain. She told the nurse to go away as ‘this drawing is helping more with my pain than those pills ever do’.”

We hope next year that we can share more wonderful feedback with you. As you plan your year-end giving, we would appreciate it if you would consider supporting the Zentangle Foundation. We are able to support these teachers and organizations and the impact they are having on others because of your support.

To learn more or make a charitable donation to the Zentangle Foundation click here.

Finally, we would like to take to moment thank all the grant recipients that are bringing the Zentangle Method to people they think would benefit from it, the newly minted CZTs and the CZTs that have been teaching the method for years, and all the tanglers out there. We are filled with gratitude for this beautiful community.

We welcome you to share in the comments below how the gift of the Zentangle Method and its philosophies left an impression on you.

In honor of Giving Tuesday, Zentangle, Inc. will select a few commentors at random. We will send a gift of the Zentangle Method for you to give to someone who you think may benefit. A gift that keeps giving!

Jennifer Sumner


  • I was able to participate on CZT3EU in 2020 before lockdown. During the pantemic it was a overwhelming feeling to be part of the zentangle community, to participate on zentangle-meetings on instagram, connected to other people around the world, drawing the same patterns, giving a feeling of togetherness and community, although each one stayed home alone. It was such a heardwarming experience. Zentangle connects people around the globe. After the pantemy i teach the zentangle-method at work in our healthmanagement during lunch break and the response of my co-workes is awesome and destressing.

    Thank you for sharing these videos of 12 days of zentangle. It was a pleasure to participate on.
    Greatings from Karin from Germany

    Karin Zitzelsberger on

  • I wanted to take a moment to express my deep appreciation for the wonderful world of Zentangle. The meditative and creative process of tangling has become a daily source of joy and inspiration for me.

    It’s a therapeutic and mindful practice where simple patterns come together to form intricate and mesmerizing designs. It’s about embracing the beauty of the unplanned, finding focus in the present moment, and letting creativity flow without constraints.

    YouTube tutorials have become my virtual mentors, guiding me through the intricate dance of lines and shapes, unlocking new possibilities with each stroke of the pen. I’ve started creating small, personalized pieces of Zentangle art to gift on special occasions, such as Teachers’ Day. There’s something magical about sharing a piece of your creativity with someone, especially when it’s imbued with intention and thoughtfulness.

    The process of creating these gifts has become a ritual that brings me immense joy. It’s not just about the final product; it’s about the love and positive energy infused into every stroke. These Zentangle gifts serve as a unique expression of gratitude, a way to say ‘thank you’ to those who inspire and shape my lives.

    Keep tangling, creating, and spreading the love, one intricate pattern at a time!

    Divya Satish on

  • I am so happy that I have these comments to read and the videos to watch. I was first introduced to Zentangle several years ago by a friend who is an instructor. Now, more than ever, I need to fall back on this treasure. I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October and am struggling with the diagnosis. I was in the process of moving at the same time. I am in the chemo regimen now and facing surgery in January. I have no idea where my supplies are now but watching the video last night on the 22nd kit, it is clear that I need to start over. Thank you for continuing your work at reminding people of their investment in their mental health.

    Sandy Troutman
    Columbus, Ohio

    Sandy Troutman on

  • I have had the pleasure of observing, learning and practicing the Zentangle Method. I can say that it has had an immense calming effect on me for sure. But what I will always be grateful for is the confidence it gave me in my own creativity. Those innumerable tiny A-HA moments are cherished and precious.

    Vera on

  • I can totally identify with the person that said that Zentangle moto of “Anything is possible one stroke at a time”! I also appreciate the idea of “No Mistakes” , although that took longer for me to embrace. As an artist that loves graphite art, I draw with my eraser. . . So using an eraser isn’t a bad thing for me. I had my third chemo treatment yesterday. While I was waiting for the medicines to infuse, I was drawing on a tile. A nurse and one of the Chemo buddies came over to see what I was doing. The Chemo Buddy stuck around and asked questions. I answered what I could and encouraged her to look up Zentangle on line. She seemed interested. I like the fact that I can take a sandwich bag with several tiles, a micron, pencil, and tortilion and put them in my pocket. I can pull it out quickly and put it away just as quickly. It is a game changer when you are tired but bored and want something quiet and small to work on. I could take a book to read, but the meds, the IV’s beeping, and the noise keep me from concentrating on a book. Zentangle can be done in spite of all those. In fact, those distractions disappear as I tangle. It is a win win situation!

    LLS on

  • Kudos to the foundation for supporting so many programs. Zentangle method to me is both inspiring and relaxing.

    Deborah R on

  • Zentangle came into my life at the best and worst time of my life. The practice has taken me out of the darkest times and brought light and happiness to it. Sharing it with children brings a special joy. At present, my life is filled with shades of gray, and I am drawn deeper into Zentangle practice. Looking for respite from anxiety and fear.

    Rebecca on

  • What a blessing this post was for me today! I’m a mess, but I broke out the tools before the sun came up this morning.

    I’m so thankful for the Zentangle community! Even I can do life One Stroke at a Time! Thank you Zentangle HQ, and all the community that you provide!

    Andrea on

  • As I read through this post, digesting all the comments and experiences from those who attended classes, my heart felt their reactions … and my eyes filled with tears. Although I’ve been an active CZT for 10 years (offering anywhere from 33 to 12 classes each year), I haven’t gone out into my community to search for opportunities to teach the Zentangle Method to the disadvantaged … and there are plenty here, I am sure. However, I do know that some of my continuing students have experienced a major shift in how they view themselves, from “I am not an artist” to “I have discovered creativity within that I never knew existed!” It’s always a joy for me to witness their realization!!! ❤♥️❤

    Jan Brandt, CZT22 on

  • During the confinement period of the pandemic I received the gift of practicing Zentangle day by day with many CZT who, sensitized by the mental damage it could cause, dedicated their time and their art to doing some live shows on Instagram and helping us calm our minds, anxieties and fears

    carmela on

  • <3 <3 <3

    ArjadLH on

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