As funding becomes harder to come by, many agencies are looking to open supplemental businesses to offset their operation costs.  At my agency, we have developed 2 businesses:  a print shop that services the community in designing and printing almost anything and an art studio.  I’d like to talk a bit more on the Studio…

This site will be open to the public in April, but we currently have the individuals we serve going there for day program services. (About 20 people rotate in and out of this site on a daily basis.)  This program was the dream of a volunteer, now current employee, Beth Kopf.  She decided to volunteer at the agency as an art instructor providing art therapy a few days a week.  Since a program like this has never been at our agency, many of the people we serve took to this immediately!  Her class size continued to grow to the point where her volunteer hours could not accommodate all the people that wanted to be a part of this.  When that happened, she was hired on full time to help our individuals continue to explore their artistic sides.

Most of our individuals found an outlet to communicate and create through this program.  Many of the pieces they have created were on display at Lewis University’s art show and some are permanent fixtures in 8 local Starbucks locations.  The acclaim received is what sparked the idea of actually opening a space to showcase all the talent we were seeing.

With this site opening soon, we are also offering this unique program to neighboring providers…we hope that their individuals want to explore their creativity as well in an environment build specifically for this.  In addition to the day program being at this site, we will be offering public art classes for kids and adults and will offer studio space for aspiring artists.  There are many local artists that have embraced our idea and have their works being displayed in the gallery already!  Here’s a few pictures of the site and the people at work:

Picture of the Art Studio  Picture of an Individual painting on a paper   Picture of Individual painting on a pottery

If you want to see more of the work we are doing here, visit the Gallery website at www.gardengalleryandstudio.com and visit the Gallery Facebook page to see more of the art being turned out of this great program.

Are there any of you in the Therap-verse that are doing something similar?  If so, please comment…I’d love to hear and see what all you creative people are doing!