Over the course of two weeks, creativity was the buzzword at Monarch’s day program at Stokes Opportunity Center. The art workshop hosted from April 3-14, offered training to Monarch staff to add a new programming option to the familiar sheltered workshop model, emphasizing community involvement and the arts to engage people the agency supports.
Stokes Opportunity Center, a day program for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, invited Creative Abundance Group, Inc., specialists in experiential programming and community integration for those with developmental differences, to provide inspiration and direction for this new option. While the people supported at the day program may still be involved in production tasks such as packaging and heat sealing products, moving forward, they now have the option to engage in the creation of colorful works of art such as upcycled cardboard canvas and life-size papier-mâché art. Most of the creative art pieces created during the workshop will be on display at Walnut Cove’s Spring Festival on Saturday, May 20.
“It has been a wonderful experience seeing people’s creative talent come to life,” said Pamela Midkiff, community engagement team leader at SOC. “The workshops channeled everyone’s creative ability, and we even created adaptive devices for folks at the Winston-Salem day programs so that some the people we support with more physical challenges could also participate.”
Monarch’s focus on community-based creative arts programming across the state has been ongoing for years.
“We would love for everyone in Stokes County to get more involved with Monarch, either by donating art materials, participating in art programs at SOC, or purchasing artwork created by our folks,” adds Midkiff.
Lawyers and doctor’s in Hoke County have purchase art pieces from the people we support for their respective offices created during a similar workshop hosted mid-2016 in Raeford, N.C. Monarch’s goal is to have a similar ‘art-effect’ reach the community in Stokes County.
“This additional creative option places us in a better position to help the people we support become active and engaged in the community,” said Monarch Chief Operating Officer Jim Kelley.
Stokes Opportunity Center is located at 1080 Neal Road, in Walnut Cove. For more information about this site, contact Pamela Midkiff at (336) 591-5446, or [email protected]