We have hopes for our Fall Gala and exhibition.
Our Fall Gala is coming up October 27th 6:30-8:30pm at the Independence Golf Club.
You can see the event details listed on the Facebook page and Twitter, and even here at the bottom of this blog. However, I just wanted to take a moment to share with you the “why” and maybe give you a better perspective on what this Gala is doing for us.
Partner and location for the GALA…Beautiful Independence Golf Club:
HAVE YOU HEARD OF ART FOR THE JOURNEY?
WE ARE NEW
We are experienced volunteers bringing something new in the Arts to others. We’ve only been around for a year and a half, there are still so many people who don’t know the full extent of what we do. Our Gala is a wonderful way of introducing them to us in a comfortable setting, which can also be used as a date night. 😉
HOW OUR VOLUNTEERS’ LIVES ARE CHANGING
The stories from our volunteers and the ways that participating with us has had an impact are inspiring. We want to share these. We want others to see first-hand how our programs help not just the participants, but the volunteers also. Creating connections and changing perspectives.
WHO WE SERVE
This Gala is allowing us to introduce, in a personal way, who we bring art to. (This is the really exciting part.)
The people to whom we bring art, are people who don’t have this opportunity otherwise. Let me give you a few concrete examples…
The Youth Life Foundation: At-Risk kids and teenagers
One of the best stories here is from our volunteer artist, Jamie. “There was this one girl, a teenager, who came in really cynical. Acting tough. Saying she couldn’t do art, and completely shutting down the idea that she could be something more. But by the end of the class, she had really gotten into it, and made this really creative painting. She was so proud. She was just wearing the biggest smile on her face.”
Another comment overheard from sitting in on an elementary class, “I’m a real artist!”
We want to share more of these wonderful stories. Ones that challenge these kids’ perspective of themselves and create a difference that lasts a lifetime. We want others to see that too.
Goochland Women’s Correctional Center
We work with a class of about 6 ladies at the prison. These ladies have learned to channel their anger, their hurt, and all sorts of other emotional injury into paintings that become breathtaking pieces of work.
We want to share these works with our community. We want our Gala visitors to have the chance to see the beauty that these ladies see, and the change that it’s made in their lives.
Art for the Journey visits this private school, situated in rural Ruther Glen, and brings recreational painting to students during study hall. The unique approach is to give the students to learn to paint using French easels, oil and acrylic paint, and discover the benefit of this retreat. It the busy world today, finding space to focus on color, composition, light and shadow and learning to design a painting and to express oneself is unique. No electronic distraction here!
Marywood : Section 8 Housing for the Elderly
Has your father – grandmother – relative gone to live in an assisted living facility? Maybe you’ve gone as part of a church or program to volunteer at one of these homes. These elderly have none of that – except for Art for the Journey.
This international group of seniors, many of whom speak no or little English, find that the painting class brings community and socialization. Because it’s Section 8, they have few activities, therefore risk social isolation. Painting with Art for the Journey has been a beautiful answer, and very well received!
Since we’ve started our classes, it’s helped create a new sense of community, but for people who previously had the bare minimum in their room – it’s created rooms full of their artwork.
We want people to see the struggles of the frail elderly, and how, through art, they’ve come together.
Saint Mary’s Woods – residents with Dementia and Alzheimer’s
Art for the Journey sought a way to help people with Dementia through Art. After much research, we discovered a “National Best Practice” and an amazing program from the Miami University in Ohio. The Scripps Gerontology Department created “Opening Minds Through Art” which was developed by Dr. Elizabeth Lokon.
OMA is fast on its way to helping thousands of people through national and international expansion. Four volunteers from Art for the Journey have been trained as Facilitators for OMA. We partner with college students from the V.C.U. ASPiRE program, and the Bonner Center for Community Engagement at University of Richmond.
This person-centered, inter-generational program was piloted with Saint Mary’s Woods residents in Richmond this past Spring. The results were extraordinary. The folks that received the program, displayed a new sense of autonomy, a creative space, a moment to continue to express themselves by using Abstract Art.
Nan Pascal, Community Engagement Director for Saint Mary’s Woods, described to us that one of the participants who has early onset Alzheimer’s, was affected so positively by the program, that she was able to find her way around in her new surroundings, which prior to experiencing OMA, she was too scared to leave her room. It not only helped her find her way, it gave her the sense of artistic accomplishment and participation in a safe and happy community.
Juvenile Diabetes Summer Camp
Art for the Journey added into the fun of this summer’s camp. The camp is designed to enable kids who face the need to check their blood count, and typically have to be removed from a classroom, (and separate from other kids to do so), to have a normal camp experience. We were delighted to have 50 kids participate in a painting class. The kids painted on large canvas boards on easels and were delighted to create colorful works of art! We believe, that this creative time is so wonderful in creating the sense of wellbeing, autonomy and joy and truly gives these benefits to everyone. That is what we seek to share, especially with those who otherwise do not have access.
HERE’S THE HICCUP…
We can’t share, or show, any of this without your help. You reading this. Even if it’s just posting information about AFJ on your Facebook page, or shooting this blog link to a work colleague or friend.
The more awareness we can build, the better the chance that the people and programs we’ve mentioned can get the visibility they need to keep changing lives for a better future.