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Easterseals receives cultural award for art program

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NEW CASTLE  – Easterseals Delaware & Maryland’s Eastern Shore recently received the “Cultural Access Award” from Art-Reach of Philadelphia for their Artfulness program. The program brings art to the seniors and people with disabilities who attend Easterseals adult day programs. Throughout the pandemic shutdown, the Artfulness program continued their work virtually and were able to engage a wider audience in all of Easterseals day programs in the state.

Easterseals, Alex Older, receiving the Cultural Access Award on behalf of Easterseals. | PHOTO COURTESY OF EASTERSEALS

“Being awarded the Member Agency Award for Cultural Access for Easterseals Artfulness program solidifies the impact that this program has on our participants and the community at large. Inclusion in all aspects of life, including art, is what we strive for at Easterseals every day. This program allows people of all abilities to stay engaged and a part of their community,” Alex Older, Easterseals Workforce Development Specialist, said. “We are so honored to be recognized by Art-Reach for the consistent, creative programming we are able to provide to Easterseals participants.”

Easterseals Artfulness is in its fourth year and has provided close to 100 in-person and virtual art/cultural workshops for adults with disabilities. Art-Reach’s unique roster of artists provides adapted art workshops providing the ability for any adult, in any day program, to participate and join in the activity. Some activities include: dancing, creating with paint or clay, or visiting a museum.

Averil Barone, an artist through Art-Reach, has been hosting “Averil’s Watercolor Workshop” at Easterseals for several years. She said, “I have had a wonderful time coming up with ideas of what to paint which would be enjoyable for all. This program has impacted my life in many ways. I’m genuinely amazed by the talent of others. I love spreading knowledge, hope, confidence and encouragement to those I teach. And what I get in return are big electric smiles, pride and amazing watercolor paintings.”

The program has been incredibly impactful for Easterseals participants, like Joe Whiteside who said, “Everyone gets involved, which is important. It shows us what we are able to do with pretty basic materials. I love being creative and making art and this program allows me to do that. My favorite art piece is the one I did for my Mom for Mother’s Day out of clay. I liked making that for her and she loved it as a gift!”

The Artfulness program is available to Easterseals participants thanks to the “Bill Adami Fund for Innovation”. The Easterseals Bill Adami Fund is established at the Delaware Community Foundation. Anyone interested in more information or to donate, contact Christina Kelleher of Easterseals at 302-221-2066 or ckelleher@esdel.org.

Easterseals Delaware & Maryland’s Eastern Shore is leading the way to an inclusive community through its innovative services, which include: children’s therapies, day programs for adults with physical or intellectual disabilities, supported employment, senior services, recreational camping, respite services, and services for caregivers. To learn more about Easterseals, call 1-800-677-3800 or visit www.de.easterseals.com.


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