For many years, the wonderful organization known as We Care Arts has proven that the healing power of creating and producing art can transform those with physical, emotional, intellectual and neurological challenges, making their lives rich with possibilities.
“We teach art classes that accommodate the needs of individuals working through mental health diagnosis, or physical and/or developmental disabilities, and those recovering from traumatic brain injury or dementia,” explains executive director Darlene Langhout. “Our classes give participants a creative experience that enhances both their artistic and social skills. Individuals learn how to express their feelings and experiences through art, and as a result, realize their own strength, courage, and capabilities.”
In 2020, the nonprofit group served 954 people, including 130 high school students and 493 in outreach programs at assisted living facilities and cancer treatment units.
Faced with the pandemic, We Care Arts quickly developed a new hybrid model that includes virtual programming and in-person classes with smaller numbers in studios.
“We’ve created a renewed studio space allowing for artists to maintain a safe social distance and increased our materials and supplies with sanitation throughout studio sessions,” explains Langhout. “In many ways, We Care Arts has been reinvented by our new adaptations. Our mission is the same and the artists in our studios remind us daily how art inspires and heals through both happy and challenging times in our lives.”
Langhout says We Care Arts programs stand in bright contrast to the traditional workshops many people with disabilities attend each day. “Our studios are full of color and laughter while our artists visit with each other, excited about their day. Participants learn not only valuable job and life skills, but get to stretch their minds in ways traditional programming does not provide. Participating in our art classes provides artists an opportunity to interact with a variety of people, reinforces effective communication skills, and helps them to achieve a level of personal independence.”
What they need
- Acrylic paints
- Canvases or wooden boards of any size
- Large eyed sewing needles
- Scissors, kids and adult sizes
- Paper towels
- Toilet paper
Items can be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday at We Care Arts, 3035 Wilmington Pike in Kettering. The phone number is (937) 252-3937.
Other ways to help
- Upcoming events include a Virtual Auction on Feb. 22-26 and a Wine & Design Virtual Painting & Wine Tasting Class on Thursday, March 11.
- The artists at We Care Arts sell a wide variety of lovely gift items, both online and at gift shops located in the Berkeley Center studios on Wilmington Pike and in the Town and Country Shopping Center.
- There are also opportunities to sponsor an artist with the Creative Edge Sponsorship program. Visit wecareart.org for more information.
Our “Make a Difference” readers continue to be wonderfully generous.
We just got some nice feedback from Chad Livins, philanthropy officer for Big Brothers Big Sisters.
“The response (to the article) was overwhelming!” he says. “We now have enough personal care items for four months of deliveries to our families in need! We appreciate you!”
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Meredith Moss writes about Dayton-area nonprofit organizations and their specific needs. If your group has a wish list it would like to share with our readers, contact Meredith: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please include a daytime phone number and a photo that reflects your group’s mission.