As the founder of Flags Across the Nation, a volunteer-run, non-profit organization, Eileen A. Schwartz has one goal: to promote patriotism through the arts. She wants everyone to have to opportunity to be creative while loving their country and those who serve it. Her organization was inspired by the patriotism she experienced after 9/11.
"I consider the organization my big piece of art," says Schwartz. "I am always coming up with new and innovative ways to promote our mission, and it really satisfies my creativity as an artist. Being creative and giving can fill you up in a way that nothing else can."
Schwartz seems to have always been one to do for others. Before Flags Across the Nation was born, she taught English to adult immigrants and worked with the disabled.
As an artist and photographer at heart, Schwartz explains that it is "a natural mix to use my camera." She describes her art as "very whimsical and childlike folk art."
Right now Schwartz and her organization are working on a variety of projects such as painting flag murals on the sides of buildings throughout Charlotte, writing letters, making blankets and quilts to send to the troops, creating patriotic tiles, and making freedom flags. She is especially proud of the quilt exhibit on display in the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
When she isn't promoting patriotism, Schwartz divides her time between her two young granddaughters. "When my granddaughters were born, there was such an expansion of heart," she says. She excitedly shares that her third grandchild is on the way.