“Being in the Art on Wheels program gives me more confidence with my friends. Anytime you try something new and succeed it gives you a great feeling. I can tell the instructors want me to succeed- you can tell they enjoy what they do.”
Through our involvement in creating community-driven works of art, thousands of community members each year embrace the joy of creativity through innovative projects and adventures in art, led by Art on Wheels. We are committed to continuing on a path of innovation and progress as advocates of the arts, and are excited each year to unveil new and exciting Community Art events. From the Veterans' Impact Project where we empowered 170 veterans to create their own monument to military service, to Find Art Doors, a collaboration with Virginia Supportive Housing and the largest public art installation and scavenger hunt in 15 years, our Community Art draws significant attention to the arts in Richmond from local and national perspective.
Founded in early 2007, Art on Wheels’ therapeutic arts outreach provides a vital link between the therapeutic benefits of art making to communities which can show substantial health improvements from arts participation, yet historically have very low arts exposure. According to the World Health Organization, by 2020 mental ill-health will be second only to heart disease as the major cause of chronic morbidity in Western nations (White, 2010).
From the very beginning, our students have run the gamut! From precocious toddlers to WWII veterans, our programming has touched the lives of thousands of community members. The wide range of our student’s life experiences has brought insight and growth to our own lives as well. Whether we are teaching photography to homeless families, painting silk scarves with senior citizens suffering from Alzheimer’s, or exploring printmaking with special needs children, you can bet we are learning as much as they are!
2016 Program Activities:
Healing in the Arts (2 locations, 47 class sessions, 123 participants)
Aging in the Arts (12 locations, 97 class sessions, 694 participants)
Arts and Disabilities (6 locations, 96 class sessions, 589 participants)
Arts In the Community (26 projects, thousands of participants)
Therapeutic Arts Agency Partners: Crater District Area Agency on Aging, The Cameron Foundation, Brandermill Woods Healthcare Center, Interfaith Adult Day Care, Hiram Davis Medical Center, Better Housing Coalition, The Virginia Home, Tree of Life, Richmond Residential Services, Bon Secours, Independent Living, Magnolia’s of Chesterfield, Care More, Greater Richmond ARC, Faithworks Adult Day Center
Community Art Partners: Studio Two Three, HandsOn Greater Richmond, Altria, Capital One, RVA Street Art Festival, Massey Cancer Center, CultureWorks, Virginia Commission for the Arts, 1708 Gallery, Better Housing Coalition, Shalom Farms, Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens
Locations of Installed Community Works: McGuire VA Medical Center, Maymont, The Community Foundation, Genworth Financial Headquarters, UPS Headquarters, old GRTC Bus Depot, Weinstein JCC, Senior Connections, YWCA, Housing Families First, ROSMY, Northside YMCA, Henrico County Department of Parks, The Virginia Home, Crater Area Hospice, Lucille Brown Middle School, Blackwell Elementary School, Chimborazo Elementary School, Boys & Girls Club, Shalom Farms, Junior Achievement, Boushall Middle School, Citadel of Hope
While the benefits of arts participation are frequently extolled for its dramatic effect on youth populations, the benefits to senior populations are no less dramatic. In fact, regular arts participation yields truly outstanding results in senior populations;
…From fewer instances of falls to less medication usage, higher ratings of overall health and less loneliness and depression; results point to powerful positive intervention effects of community-based art programs run by professional artists. These results signify true health promotion and disease prevention effects, revealing a positive impact on maintaining independence and on reducing dependency; qualities which provide real impact in reducing risk factors that drive the need for long term care (Cohen, 2006).
Partner locations operate as senior centers, and typically provide meals, exercise and coordination services for isolated, home-bound seniors. Aging in the Arts provides much needed relief and support to family members and caregivers, who frequently struggle to keep elders engaged throughout the day. Aging in the Arts fills the gap in activity at these centers, further facilitating the positive health benefits associated with increased mental and physical activity level, by fostering new friendships and creating new avenues for socialization among isolated seniors.
The Art and Disability program brings visual art activities to people with physical, developmental or intellectual disabilities in the region.
In addition to improving self esteem and promoting socialization skills in participants with disabilities, the arts also help students with major disabilities express anger, frustration, fear, confusion, and unhappiness. Art not only gives students with disabilities a way to express themselves, but it also provides them with a vehicle to communicate with their peers. Because choice is central to art making, arts programming increases feelings of independence, and can improve mental wellness in disabled populations. (Mason, Thormann & Steedly, 2004)
This program seeks to
increase public participation in the arts; encouraging creative ownership
experiences. As a tool to build community support for the arts, community
art opportunities are offered at local festivals and events, with additional programming for corporations with volunteer
engagement initiatives to participate in customized art projects which are then donated to local nonprofits and schools.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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