Our services include creative arts activities to enhance each person’s well-being and potential. Clinically trained staff and volunteer artists facilitate art expression through visual art, music, movement, and storytelling.
Art experiences are integrated within the Recovery 55, Winter Shelter, Hope and Justice, and Community Center programs. Group experiences foster interconnectedness among participants. They feel seen and heard in a respectful community, which restores a sense of belonging for many who have been exiled from mainstream society.
Making art gives homeless, vulnerable, and often voiceless elders a way to address what is meaningful. They shed light on experiences of poverty and aging and share their resilience, wisdom and hope. The creative process moves them through concerns of being inadequate and judged. Participants become open to their inner resourcefulness, freeing up honest self-reflection and new understandings of oneself and others. In a group context, when others witness the act of speaking one’s truth, new possibilities emerge for everyone.
Senior artist, Kathy, reported that her perceptions of people changed when she participated in an art group. “When people described their art, I saw that they were more than their appearances and behaviors. I learned how much I have in common with people.”
Another senior artist, Ben, says, “Art-making helps me relieve tension and frustration. I let it out on the paper, see it for myself. Expressing myself through art opens the door to peace within myself. I talk more openly about myself now.”
Through art, our seniors connect to a community of concern and activism. Their art is exhibited locally and nationally to expand awareness of social conditions and basic human needs. They also speak about their lives and artwork to foster dialogue to promote social change and human rights.
“Creativity helps me relate to things that seem to overwhelm me.” - St. Mary’s Center participant