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Gaston Arts Council

Your Connection to ARTS & Culture in Gaston County

Arts in Community

As part of our Arts in Community initiatives, we strive to foster well being through interactive arts experiences presented to health and human services and/or healthcare providers throughout Gaston County. Gaston Arts Council hires professional teaching artist to present the art sessions as well as covers the cost of the supplies and materials. Sessions are provided to: Gaston Residential Services (supports persons with developmental and other disabilities), Off the Streets Program Inc. (a transitional housing program helping women recover from addictions), Women’s Shelter of Gaston County, Covenant Village continuing care retirement community, Gaston Skills Adult Developmental Program and the list is growing.

“I really want to thank you so much for the work you do with the people we serve at GRS. They have learned so much and benefit so greatly from these experiences.

Not only do these classes provide the people we support with a social and community-based experience, but it provides a fun, non-threatening way for them to work on goals, such as fine and gross motor coordination, sensory tolerance (large groups, visual & auditory stimulation, etc.), attention to task/concentration, turn-taking… So, I hope this helps you and your board to understand that these classes are MUCH MORE than fun activities to pass the time. One woman from the watercolor class, often will ask her staff to assist her with most things that require fine motor coordination – she did not ask for one ounce of help and her paintings are now framed in her room and she has everyone come see them.

With respect to the journaling class, it’s so important for the people we support to have the skills and knowledge to create something all their own that they don’t have to share with anyone. Most have to live their lives under a microscope and that comes with being part of any organization. However, at this class – they were given the tools to create something all their own and it’s wonderful to be a part of providing them with that outlet. And, the fact that it was more of a discussion class, I think, really respected their dignity as adults. They are a group of people who often keep to themselves – reserved- and they all felt comfortable … that came from the respect they felt. One gentleman at that class rarely participates in any activities and has a traumatic brain injury. He often says he cannot read or write and it takes quite a bit of prompting to get him to do so. He can and did at the class – he made no mention of things he “can’t” do.

We’re looking forward to the upcoming classes the Gaston Arts Council will provide for the people we serve.”

Recreation Coordinator, ICF
Gaston Residential Services

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