Welcome to Portrait Connection
We bring joy to families of children with serious medical conditions.
We give talented artists a platform from which to display their art.
And, we bring communities together in support of neighbors.
Portrait Connection is a nonprofit in Bend, Oregon. Together with our partners, we bring fine art to families of children struggling with serious health conditions. Talented artists are commissioned to paint personalized portraits, capturing the child’s personality. The benefits extend across the giving. Each family receives a meaningful keepsake of art that reflects confidence, cheer, and optimism. Every artist is publicly recognized for talent, vision, and altruism.
Most portraits are displayed at a public art event, one that serves as a meeting place for the artists and families. It brings the community into the circle of giving in a show of compassion, caring and joyous emotion.
Together, We Are Uniting Children’s Health with the Arts!
Sometimes a special family can plant a seed of goodness that touches the entire world. That is how Portrait Connection came to be. We were inspired by neighbors whose children had special challenges to get through each day, each week, and each month. Our neighbors are a loving family, close to the earth, expert gardeners, lovers of animals, and the first to give to anyone in need. Then, not one, but two diagnoses changed their world. The two children were both diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. The diagnoses meant endless doctors, hospitals, and emotional strain. They had to become a superfamily just to live their lives.
As neighbors, we wanted to help. But how? That’s when we looked to our own family to see what we had to give, and we thought of art. With an artist in the family, we arranged for a portrait to be painted of the super-kids. We remembered a favorite photograph and used it to create a fine art keepsake for the family. After having it framed, an unexpected package showed up on this family’s porch. It contained a treasure - a joy-filled portrait. The children’s mother said, “It captures them perfectly, I hung it where it is the first thing I see every morning when I open my eyes. It gives me strength to get through my day.”
Today, the team at Portrait Connection works to bring this same joy to family across the Country who persevere against the turmoil of childhood illness.
We are a family dedicated to helping other families whose daily routines face much greater challenges than our own. We bring our experience in nonprofit management and art together in a way that results in consistent benefits to families and artists.
Elaine Eisenbraun - Elaine has a Master’s in Business Leadership, but it is her ability to observe opportunity and bring together businesses, families, and communities that drives her success. She has served as the Executive Director of two outdoor education centers. She is also an advisor to the Environmental Protection Agency, a published author, and a nonprofit consultant. As the founder of Portrait Connection, Elaine has committed her nonprofit expertise to a very new kind of compassionate solution.
Laura Eisenbraun - Laura has a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts and a Master’s in Nonprofit Development. She draws on her fine arts background and uncanny organization skills to serve as a co-founder of Portrait Connection. She is an accomplished writer, fundraiser and designer. Laura is passionate about projects that spread compassion and awareness in unique ways, and in her free time she volunteers in animal rescue.
Kristen Eisenbraun - Kristen ambitiously created the first fine art for Portrait Connection. As an oil painter, her art draws on her unique outlook on the world and a deep love of nature. Her art is rich in color, imagery, and message. She has studied at New York Academy of Art, Montana State University, and in residency in New Zealand. Kristen has also been an auto technician for Ferrari and has led guided tours on ranches in Montana.
Our Board of Directors is comprised of people who are passionate about the value of arts in healthcare. Some of them are professionals, others are educators and parents of children with health challenges. They know the value of placing a strong visual hallmark in a family’s home.
Jasmine Helsley-Barnett - JAH Promotions - Large-scale event venues manager, business owner and Community Coordinator for the Arts and Culture Alliance of Central Oregon. Jasmine is the mother of a child with a disability and knows the power of art and how it can help heal families.
Suzanne Singer Boger, Esq. - Attorney specializing in estate planning, Past, Director of Development Skidmore College, Past, Director of Development Saratoga Hospital. Suzanne is a mother of two and very active in community and school programs.
Thomas DeFrantz, PhD - Duke University – Professor and Chair of African, and African-American Studies, Professor of Dance and Theater Studies and also Gender Studies, Past President of Dance History Scholars. He is the Director of Slippage, a research group that studies emerging technologies in live performance.
Susan Gleeman - Early Childhood Educator, musician and nutritionist. Susan raises two wonderful children with special health concerns. She farms with her husband and incorporates nutritional solutions into health care teaching.
Debbie Ostrowski - Author/Illustrator of four books focused on children, Grumbacher Fine Art Instructor, Fine Art Graduate of Florida Gulf Coast University and Empire State College. Debbie co-manages a flourishing small business and is a beekeeper.
Danielle Schulman - Charles Schwab – Manager of Investor Development Teams. Danielle is a successful financial advisor, leading Investor Development Specialists. She raises two healthy daughters and is deeply committed to other families who have greater parenting challenges around health care issues.