Dare County Arts Council announces a new program called the Power of Art, serving special groups in need or with limited access to arts programming and education.

Made possible by a grant from the Outer Banks Community Foundation, the Power of Art’s objective is to give those with disabilities and difficulties with self-expression the opportunity to create and make critical decisions through unique art programs.

“At the Community Foundation, we are thrilled to support this project because of its ability to use art to reach and empower so many diverse segments of our local population,” said Outer Banks Community Foundation Executive Director Lorelei Costa.

The program was designed to utilize the fundamental power of art to create new outlets for the participants’ memories, dreams and aspirations. Those interested in becoming involved as a volunteer for the Power of Art program are encouraged to call (252) 473-5558 or email DareArtsPrograms@gmail.com.

“The arts and creative exercises are invaluable tools for self-expression. In many cases, developmental issues and negative experiences have blocked or hindered traditional means of expression. Whether it is an adult with memory loss or a child with a developmental disability, something magical happens when they are creating - they are fully-abled and making critical artistic decisions. This is the Power of Art,” said DCAC Programs Director Fay Davis Edwards.

Dare County Arts Council has partnered with local organizations to help meet the identified needs within the community. The initial groups participating in the Power of Art program are GEM Adult Day Services, the SNAP Group, the Monarch Beach Club and Outer Banks Hotline.

Through GEM Adult Day Services’ Art in the Park program, DCAC recruited volunteer art instructors to work with adults with memory loss on activities including stained glass and jewelry making. Dare County Arts Council hosts one class per week for GEM Adult Day Services at various locations.

DCAC developed a series of classes and art experiences for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities through the local chapter of Special Need Ability Program (SNAP). Initial funding for this pilot program was provided by individual donors and the Pauline Wright Endowment.

DCAC partnered with the Monarch Beach Club to provide art instruction and activities to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance abuse disorders. Once a month Dare County Arts Council hosts a workshop at the Monarch Beach Club.

In March 2016, DCAC hosted a Women’s Empowerment Workshop with Outer Banks Hotline. DCAC has also provided art supplies to residents of Hotline’s safe house and plans to continue to provide art opportunities to victims of domestic violence and their families.

Dare County Arts Council brings arts expertise, working relationships with art instructors, administrative ability and access to multiple venues for art instruction to the initiative. For more information about the Power of Art program, please call (252) 473-5558.

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