This is our 3rd time participating in #GivingTuesday, and it is the start of our 4th year at ARTZ Philadelphia.
Every year, we host "Community Engagement Days" in the lead-up to our November art exhibition and end-of-year giving campaign, and this fall was no exception. Volunteers joined residents of care communities on two-person looms and wove with bright strips of fabric and glitter-filled ribbons in the colors of the rainbow. Together, more than 100 people living with dementia and volunteers created 17 weavings during our "Woven Friendships" project. These large-scale weavings hung bright and sparkled in our annual art exhibition.
This #GivingTuesday, we want to recognize the gifts of creativity, time and love donated by those who came out to weave together. ARTZ Philly is among the ranks of people-powered non-profits, and those volunteers, care community residents, and care partners who came together during our 2016 Community Engagement Days are the reason we do what we do.
We're inspired by two missions at ARTZ Philadelphia: one is to promote day- in, day-out quality of life in the dementia community through research-based programs powered by arts and cultural experiences. Our long term mission is to turn the narrative surrounding dementia as an isolating condition of loss and diminishment toward one of hope, and to spark joy in the process.
"Woven Friendships" drew volunteers of all ages from the community to connect through creativity with people living with dementia. Together, they discovered the promise of hope (and joy) in color. The project engaged volunteers in both of our missions: some have since joined our volunteer program to help facilitate ongoing programs throughout the Philadelphia area. And armed with the stories and unique attributes of each individual, they are turning the narrative of dementia into a story of hope in color with a full and diverse cast of people.
So... On November 29, join us in seeing hope in color! We look forward to introducing you to the stories of our community members on social media throughout the campaign.