“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!
2015 Program Activities:
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.
-Raise self confidence of participants by increasing difficulty of processes gradually.
-Immerse seniors in a highly engaging learning environment, compounding positive health benefits.
-Improve long-term mental wellness through the formation of new friendships as a result of collaborative bonding experiences
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 givesstudents 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 independance, 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 while providing community members with opportunities to have meaningful arts experiences. Customized projects challenge the professional workforce with creative scenarios, emphasizing problem solving and leadership, and beautifies the community through art and service projects. Collaborative, interactive public art works give the general public the opportunity to experience hands-on art making through partnerships with regional fairs, and festivals.
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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