Art for Wholeness: Inspire’s Community Outreach Programs
Art For Wholeness Locations & Partners
- Inspire has two instructors who teach weekly art sessions at Alpha Home, a spiritually based rehabilitation program for women in recovery from drug dependency. The classes are an integral component to the women’s recovery and are incorporated into their weekly treatment schedule. 500 women attend annually.The purpose is to improve the emotional state of the women and provide positive learning experiences, helping to develop self-confidence and resilience, which are essential in overcoming drug dependency. Another aim is to provide an avenue for constructively expressing suppressed emotions that are difficult to state verbally and to provide a method for coping with stress. The sessions are supportive and nurturing, providing a safe haven for the women to express themselves freely.Some of the activities include creating collage memory boxes from scraps of artist & handmade papers, watercolor paintings and drawings and decorating canvas tote bags. The women keep all of their work.
- In the middle of art class one day a client said out loud, "I love coming to art! It's my favorite class, but not just because of the cool art we get to do. It's because we (the clients) don't argue with each other when we're in art class." In the midst of the craziness that is recovery, the hour and a half of art the clients get to do each week helps bring peace to the chaos of life.
- Inspire Community Fine Art Center provides instructors twice a week to guide children through various art projects, to help them divert their attention from the stresses of the day. In 2014, the children created quilt squares, a volunteer stitched the quilts and eight quilts were donated to the Children’s Shelter.
- This is a story written by one of our instructors from the Courthouse program:
Sitting in the Safe Haven waiting area on a quiet Friday morning, a family of three children came thru the door and slowly walked over to the art area.
Two of us from Inspire were there to offer guided art activities and help give a respite in the day. The 15 year old girl and her two younger brothers, 11 & 8, were waiting to hear a decision on if they would get to stay with their mother or not. She was in a family drug court that day. They looked exhausted and very on edge. As we sat and enjoyed a time of creativity, it came out that they had been placed in foster care out of town and had gotten up at 4am to come in for the hearing.They calmly helped each other and made cards for their mother, saying "I love you!" and name plates for their room. There was laughter and smiles. 40 minutes passed and the caseworker came in, a decision had been reached. The mother had given up the children. Amongst tears and confusion, the three gathered all their work, gave their gifts to the mother and started on the next part of their journey. What a gift it was for us to be there that morning to be able to help with the transition at such a traumatic time in their lives.
- Co-founded by actress Eva Longoria, Eva's Heroes is an organization dedicated to enriching the lives of individuals with intellectual special needs by providing an inclusive setting built on four tenets: interact, grow, learn, and love. Based in San Antonio, Texas, the organization helps teens and young adults with special needs to integrate and flourish in society.
- Hugs are a big thing at Eva's Heroes art night. If you linger around on the Tuesday night they come to Inspire, you'll most likely get hugged and make a new friend!
- It's a loving bunch of young adults who have intellectual special needs--Eva's Heroes offers unique opportunities for these young men and women that they may not be able to experience elsewhere. Art Night at Inspire is one of those opportunities - offering a time of socialization, creativity and fun, as well as a respite for family members.
- The Eva's Heroes coordinators enjoy the event as much as the participants do. They tell us it is one of the monthly events everyone looks forward to. Excitement is in the air along with a whole lot of creativity.
- Lamar Elementary is a Title 1 school without art education The children from Lamar Elementary, our neighboring SAISD primary school, walk over to Inspire every month for an hour of artistic creativity. This program helps provide art education to children who do not currently have access to art classes.
- Meet Mrs. M. She's a 4th grade teacher Lamar who walks her students over once a month to engage in art education here at Inspire Fine Art Center. She knows the benefits of including art enrichment into an elementary aged child's curriculum. Each month her class creates artwork that correlates with art they have seen at a nearby museum or another theme they are focusing on in class.
She comments on how every child learns differently but they're all able to express themselves in the art they create. It's also a great way for the children, who are mostly from low socio-economic families, to experience different cultures. Mrs. M is so thankful Lamar is able to receive an art education at Inspire since there is currently no art teacher at Lamar.
- SAMM Transitional Living and Learning Center: Inspire provides an instructor to teach art classes every week for the children and families residing at SAMMinistries Transitional Living and Learning Center, a place for homeless families can get assistance to help attain self-sufficiency. Families can remain at the center for up to 2 years providing a stable environment for children that promotes a time for self- development and growth.The family art class offers the families an opportunity to relate in a positive manner to each other, helping form healthier relationships. The art classes also provide a constructive outlet for emotions and help each child develop their own talents and abilities.
Inspire heads to SAMMinistries Transitional Housing once a week for family art night. It's a program that provides art experiences for parents and their children, who are living at SAMM TLLC. Laura Schulz, the Inspire instructor, shared these insights:
- "One mom said "This is my therapy. I come in here and it makes me sane."
- These families go through so many changes and stresses. The Family Art Night is fun, but also provides a therapeutic art experience. Another mom said just last week "I came in here with a headache and frustrated. I'm leaving feeling so good about myself AND my headache's gone!"
- The kids are always so funny, yet they're guarded. They aren't always going to voice thoughts but they do often say "This is better than homework." The smiles and laughter speak volumes.
Inspire also does outreach at its home campus. Every second Saturday Inspire hosts Free Family Art Day from 10 am - 1 pm. Learn more at our Free Family Art Day page. In addition, monthly senior classes are offered that create a unique community for seniors at a discounted class rate.
Help Inspire Reach the San Antonio Community
Your tax-deductible funds will support our programs in SO many ways. Please find some examples listed below. We have a donations page where you can earmark funds for your favorite programs or provide general operating funds for us to use where there is the greatest need. Thank you for your support! $25----------- Art Supplies for a week of youth or children's classes $60------------Art supplies for one Free Family Art Day $100----------- Art supplies for one week of Summer Camps $150-----------One field trip for one grade level from Lamar Elementary $200-----------One evening of art classes for Eva's Heroes young adults $250-----------Scholarship for a student who takes classes at Inspire $500-----------One month of outreach at Alpha Home $1,000---------Two months of field trips for all of Lamar Elementary Visit our donations page to donate now!
Is planned giving part of your will? Please consider Inspire Community Fine Art Center as a recipient.
Inspire also hosts monthly art days for children/families and adults -- visit our events page for more information on these fun (and free!) events. They are a great way to explore the power of art and to see if you'd like to take a more formal class with us.
Inspire thanks the following for their generous support:
- Kronkosky Charitable Foundation
- The San Antonio Area Foundation
- Ed Rachal Foundation
- The Najim Family Foundation
- Morrison Group
- Sagebiel, Ravenburgh & Shuh
- Texas Commission on The Arts
- Vicki Auth - State Farm Insurance
- Greehey Family Foundation
- CBS Rental & Supply
Inspire is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.