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Kamloops Arts Council Crossing Bridges – “Deliver Creativity Parcels”

Kamloops Arts Council Crossing Bridges – “Deliver Creativity Parcels”

December 13, 2020 at 10:35 pm  Community, The Arts

Crossing Bridges is an arts outreach program started by the Kamloops Arts Council in 2013. The program employs local artists and art therapists, giving them the opportunity to develop high quality arts workshops in collaboration with social service agencies at no cost to children, youth, families, adults and seniors adults in the Kamloops area.

Our team of artists are normally mobile throughout many venues in the Kamloops area to facilitate art workshops, but as with other community services, COVID-19 has drastically changed our programming. Not all agencies have adequate space and procedures in place to resume in-person art workshops safely, so finding new and innovative ways to connect with those in need and helping them to use arts as a creative release or distraction from their worries is now more important than ever

It occurred to us that this would be very good timing to “Deliver Creativity Parcels” containing art supplies and instructions to some of the previous participants who had come to rely on regular face to face workshops that came to a halt in March. “This has been such a helpless and frustrating time for our art instructors not to mention those clients that they have been working with” says Outreach Coordinator, Lorel Sternig. “When I broached this idea to some of our artist facilitators they jumped at the chance to create gift bags that would reach those that they had worked with prior to the shut down. We have 85 bags in the works that will be delivered before Christmas and into the New Year. Terri Hadwin, Executive Director comments, “It feels great to reconnect the workshop facilitators with the participants that we haven’t been able to see since March, letting them know we are thinking about them and still want to be part of the artistic learning, particularly the most vulnerable groups like our seniors.”

Thanks to Healthy Community Initiative funding from BC Responsible Gaming we are able to “Deliver Creativity Parcels” free of charge and bring some happiness to people who are so isolated during the pandemic. It is also a way to enter into a new phase that we will be working on in January as we develop online art classes for Crossing Bridges. We are excited to get started on these virtual art workshops and the “Deliver Creativity Parcels” project is a good trial run for how we can get supplies into participants hands that will go along with the virtual workshops that will be offered in the future.

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