For many of our clients Thursdays afternoons are a highlight of the week. That's because every Thursday afternoon for nearly a decade Ken Boone, a Desert Arc employee, has volunteered his time to creating a welcoming environment for people with disabilities to freely create art in whatever manner they choose. Clients, visitors, and volunteers gather weekly to express themselves, learn, and have a great time all free of charge to the clients who participate.
Aside from facilitating the class, Ken and Liz Nabie (Art Program Director) are constantly looking for opportunities to feature the class' artists and artwork in the community. In the past this has included Gallery 446 in Palm Springs, The Southwest Arts Festival, The Rancho Mirage Art Affair, and a handful of other locations around the Coachella Valley. On July 28th Desert Arc partnered with the Coachella Valley Art Scene (CVAS), a local non-profit, to showcase the clients' work and raise awareness for artists with disabilities. Clients were able to visit the CVAS's location in the Westfield shopping center and view each other's works. The CVAS also facilitated a time for everyone to create personalized button pins for everyone to take home free of charge. Family, friends, and community members were encouraged to join in the event but for those who could not make it the art work will be on display until Monday August 8th.
Many of the clients who attended spoke about their gratefulness regarding the event as well as their desire to set up more events in conjunction with the CVAS. It is through partnerships like these that the artists are able to advocate for themselves and enjoy a new experience in the community. Anyone who is interested in supporting Desert Arc's art program can do so by donating time, supplies, funds or simply purchasing one of the many amazing pieces on display through August 8th.
*Note: The Coachella Valley Art Scene will be holding a craft-a-thon in support of the Desert Aids Project. You will be able to purchase our client's work there or join in the fun and do some crafting in support of Get Tested Coachella Valley.