One the goals of the ARTS with Grace is to create social groups of 5 -7 people so each person can have a small group of friends with similar interest, etc. I had been working on how to designate the groups without creating a limiting factor such as age or diagnosis. I was talking to another board member at pottery last week and we decided to designate the groups by birds. Afterall, all types of birds share the same tree. So the analogy being all types of people share the same community. So our first social group is called The Roadrunners. (And yeah, I know that roadrunners don’t hang out much in trees but the idea still works. 😉 It just shows our first group is unique even among the bird varieties.) Our first group, The Roadrunners, happens to be a group of young men in the 20’s and 30’s. Anyone, of course, is welcome to join this group. And we are also ready to start additional social groups. The ARTS with Grace is working to get the resources and connections to events and art opportunities for adults with disabilities or other special needs groups. Now we need parents, waiver staff, volunteers, etc to be event leaders and work with the Board to head up another social group to bring opportunities for friendships to a special needs group.
~It’s not what we have in life that matters, but who we have in our lives that matters.
I recently visited with Micayla Cole, the new executive director of The ARC of the River Valley. The ARC of the River Valley is such a great resource for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The ARTS with Grace will be publicizing on our facebook page the events of the ARC that are open to the community. (Note – There are other events opportunities available to members of the ARC.) Even though the ARTS with Grace and the ARC of the River Valley have similar goals for the community, there are a few differences. One of the differences of the ARTS with Grace is our events are generally in the late afternoon or early evening and weekends. Whereas, the ARC events are generally weekday events. A second difference is the ARTS with Grace does not have a physical location but rather uses community events as our locations. And finally, the third difference is that the ARTS with Grace focuses on social groups of about 5-7 with the hopes of building relationships which are so important for quality of life satisfaction. The ARC of the River Valley is able to pull together large group events for 100’s of people to enjoy together. So even though the ARTS with Grace and the ARC of River Valley are reaching out to the some of the same people, the opportunities are different and at different times. So I’m delighted that we will be able to publicize the events from the ARC of the River Valley that are open to the community and the ARC will also be letting their members know about the events offered by the ARTS with Grace.
Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always. ~ibelieve.com
Adults with special needs many times have limited opportunities to participate in activities because of lack of financial resources or lack of opportunities. The ARTS with Grace wants to be a resource for adults with challenges to meet and engage with others. The goal is not to have big events but to have social groups of 5-7 people which allows for friendships. Right now we have 1 social group enjoying ART experiences. But we want to grow the number of groups. And that can be done by other engaging in the ARTS. We need event leaders that can schedule events for a social group. Anyone can be an event leader and event leaders can match the event to a person’s interest. One family that is getting involved has a guy who loves Star Wars. So we might have some Star Wars events coming up. That is just an example of how the ARTS and social groups can be built around a person’s interest. Bring your ideas. Use the ARTS with Grace to make connections for friendship and opportunities to engage in the community. We can build friendships, connections, and opportunities one person and one idea at a time. Join with us. It’ll be fun.
~You miss a hundred percent of the shots you don’t take. ~Wayne Gretzky, hockey player
The ARTS with Grace Board Meeting was held Thursday, November 19. Our first order of business was to vote on two new board members. Two of our board members moved in the past few months–one to Northwest Arkansas and one to Missouri. It is exciting to get the board members back up to 5 and hopefully we will be able to add additional board members as we expand the opportunities in the area. We are open to new ideas and opportunities. The pottery classes are fun. And plans are in the works for a Christmas social.