We Care Arts

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Let's Sign Together

Image result for sign language

Hello everyone, my name is Mallory.  I write the blog for We Care Arts every week.  This week I want to introduce myself and tell you about my amazing experience teaching sign language to some of our clients.  First, I want to explain how I discovered We Care Arts and began to develop a strong connection with them.  Last year I was completing my Bachelor’s Degree at Wright State University and I had to do a final internship prior to graduation.   My academic advisor told me about WCA so I contacted them and did my internship here for four months.  I have a rare neurological syndrome called Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere that caused me to become legally deaf blind and a quadriplegic.  I use sign language and lip reading as my primary way of communication.  Despite my multiple disabilities I am determined to work with individuals with a variety of disabilites and help them any way I can. 
           During my internship, I did many different projects. Teaching sign language to a few clients with the help of my sign language interpreters was one of the primary projects I did.  Every week I would create  a document focusing on a specific topic to teach the following week.  Once the list of words was completed we would copy and paste pictures of the individual sign on the document for each client to keep and practice on their own.  Some of the topics included animals, holidays, activities, colors, and many others.  It always makes my day to see how much these clients truly enjoy learning sign language.  Sign language is a wonderful way for them to be able to communicate with others who are deaf, hard of hearing, or non-verbal. 

I recently started working on staff at WCA part time so I continue to teach sign language to those same people along with any new clients who are interested.  We are currently learning the signs to the “I Love You Song”.  I am thrilled to announce that some of us might be performing this song at our upcoming event Celebrate Your Style. 
Come see us perform on Saturday, October 8.  Celebrate Your Style will be held at the NCR Country Club from 10am to 12 noon.  Please click here if you want to register: http://wecarearts.org/about-events.php.  We hope to see you there!  I will continue to keep you updated on the clients in their journey to learn sign language. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

September is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Awareness Month

Let's show our respect and support to those affected by Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).  The month of September is Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month.  TBI is caused by strokes or sudden trauma to the brain after a fall or other aggressive activities effecting the brain.   According to website, Scioto.com, 5.3 million Americans are living with a disability caused by a TBI and face many challenges to live full and productive lives.  Traumatic Brain Injuries are the top cause of death and disabilities to individuals under the age of 44.  Awareness and educating people as well as communities about the common causes, symptoms and prevention of the destructive nature of a TBI.

According to Jackie Biggs, manager of the TBI art therapy program of the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) at Fort Belvoir, Va., who works mainly with vets who have returned home after receiving TBI during active service.  Many times her clients express reluctance when Biggs introduces them to art therapy.  One common excuse is "I am not artistic and have not done it since I was young." However, after she continues to encourage them to give it a try, then the "magic happens".  Their reaction shows a sense of surprise when they say "Wow!  This feels like medicine!  I haven't felt this relaxed in a long time.  My head hasn't been this clear in a long time!" 

Biggs explains that therapy works at the cellular level in the brain, restoring connection s that might have been damaged during a traumatic event.  Admittedly, art therapy is not a magical cure, but clients experience progress in how they deal with issues and it creates an opening to help them put words to what they are feeling.

We Care Arts is proud to contribute many art media services to individuals who are effected by TBI and many other disabilities for their personal expression through art.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Art Promotes Healing For Anxiety and Depression

Jen Swafford has always used art as a way to cope with life while growing up. Painting and using a variety of colors is an activity that she finds very peaceful and it helps to release emotions like stress and grief.  She finds that managing her stress helps with her chronic pain issues.
Jen loves it at We Care Arts.  She loves to learn different art techniques.  She likes to do watercolor and is now learning to paint on glass. She also enjoys painting silk neckties and scarves, and working in polymer clay and multimedia.  Her favorite projects have been painting scarves and doing multimedia, because she had never done those before.

Jen has 2 jobs. She works at the We Care Arts store at Town and Country Shopping Center.  She also works as a wavier provider, with a 16 year old girl with developmental disabilities.  She has been in therapy for her anxiety and depression issues and met a friend there who told her about WCA.  Later, when she had to cut way back on her work hours because of health issues, she started coming to WCA.
Jen could not pick just one favorite thing about being at We Care Arts.  She loves the atmosphere, the people, and getting to make art!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Grand Reopening at Town and Country Shopping Center

     After a year of sawdust and orange barrels, Town and Country Shopping Center is having their Grand Reopening! On Wednesday, September 14, Kettering Mayor Don Patterson will be there, along with the entire City Council and the owners of the Center, Casto and Skilken. Dan Edwards from Soft Rock 92.9 will have a live radio remote and they will have giveaways, food, and, of course, shopping! Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to make this magic happen!


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Celebrate Your Style!

Make plans to attend Celebrate Your Style, a fundraiser benefitting We Care Arts, on Saturday October 8, 2016 between 10:00 AM and 12:00.

The event will take place at the beautiful NCR Country Club 4435 Dogwood Trail, Kettering.  Wearable art including jewelry, silk scarves, bags, and ties, created, and modeled by We Care Arts participants will be featured.  Home accessories including hand-thrown salad bowls and intricately decorated serving pieces will also available for purchase at this don’t-miss annual event.

All proceeds will help to underwrite programming provided by We Care Arts, which turns disabilities into possibilities through art. Individual tickets are $40.00 and include a wonderful breakfast buffet and a chance to win a raffle prize.  Gather a table of ten friends and receive a price break for your group! Call We Care Arts at 937-252-3937 to purchase  tickets today!


Thursday, August 18, 2016

How can art change lives?

Art is truly beneficial in so many more ways than you can imagine.  Anyone can experience art therapy since there are always ways to engage in artistic activities. Don't be surprised at how simple activities such as drawing, painting, gardening, sculpting and many others help to relieve anxiety and pain.  These activities are beneficial to people with severe emotional abuse, PTSD, cancer and many other serious conditions.

Therapeutic art is a way for people to express themselves and share their emotions with others around them.  Even if young children are not able to express themselves through words, they can find ways to do so through art. If you are part of the disability community like me, you would definitely notice art helping people communicate their feelings and needs with others. 
We Care Arts's photo.
  Therapeutic art also truly helps to improve a person's social skills.  It is something you can do alone to discover yourself or with others as part of a group and community.  Being able to do artwork is a great way for a person to socialize with others who are on the same wavelength.  
'Our class tonight is full! Missed out? Here's the painting for the next Wine and Art class on August 20. Isn't it  beautiful??'
We Care Arts is the perfect place to explore art as well as engage in social interaction and personal social growth.  It is a wonderful feeling to see how much fun our clients are having with their friends. We Care Arts proudly continues to strive to expand personal growth through art and various kinds of art media. 
By Mallory Holler, We Care Arts staff


Friday, August 12, 2016

Let's Honor the 26th Anniversary of the ADA

      View the world from a wheelchair. Navigate a day with the tap of a walking cane. Take part in a conversation by sight alone. These are among the sensory stations that were experienced firsthand at the ‘Person First Expo’ on July 23 from 1-4 p.m.at the Dayton Barnes & Noble, located across from the Dayton Mall.
 We care Arts is thrilled to share the positive outcome from this very successful opportunity to raise awareness of a wide variety of disabilities. 

This fundraising event aimed to raise awareness of persons with disabilities, and was held the Saturday before the 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. A percentage of proceeds from book sales made on the 23rd at the Dayton Barnes & Noble benefited us! Organizations that participated with us were Dayton Children’s Hospital, The Access Center for Independent Living and The Brain Balance Center.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Mallory and Morgan's tattoos!

Mallory Holler and Morgan Stoddard are all about empowering themselves and exerting their independence. These two young women, one with Down Syndrome and one legally deaf and blind and in a wheelchair, took their own personal power and decided “I’m going to get a tattoo and help We Care Arts!” at our Arts and Drafts event.  

Justin Woleslagle from Truvium Tattoo in Centerville OH was so happy and thrilled to have the honor of creating both Mallory and Morgan’s first tattoos!

And these are 2 very interesting ladies. Mallory recently graduated from Wright State University with a Bachelor’s in Rehabilitative Services. She is now on staff here at We Care Arts after working her WSU internship with us. She feels very strongly about advocating for accessibility for those with disabilities.

Morgan has been coming to WCA since graduating from high school. She has started her own business at www.aunt-M-designs.com, where she designs and sells t-shirts to various organizations. She also loves coming to our Art Café program on Tuesday night, where young people do art and have a great time every week!

All of our fundraising events, like Arts and Drafts, support Art Café and all of our other programs.
We want to thank Trivium, DLG Tattoo from Jeanette PA, and Ryan Hadley from Fort Wayne IN for their donation of over $1500 from the tattoo fees at our event. Artists helping artists! Awesome!!






Thursday, July 28, 2016

Arts and Drafts Festival

This exciting, fun-filled event will take place Saturday evening, August 6th, from 4:00pm-10:00pm at We care Arts in Kettering, 3035 Wilmington Pike, Kettering, OH 45429.

Arts and Drafts is a community festival that features an art auction comprised of pieces created by nationally renowned tattoo artists, live music, great food, craft beers, craft root beer, and on site tattooing.

 Come enjoy some yummy food from the following local food trucks:
  • Wicked 'Wich
  • Zombie Dogz
  • Cake, Hope and Love
  • Orange Leaf
We will also have delicious local craft beer and craft root beer provided by:

Toxic Brew
BJ's Brew House

While enjoying food and drink, relax and listen music provided by the following bands:
  • Toni Hates Jazz
  • Pocket Rockets
  • Lydia Brownfield and Jeff Dalrymple
  • The Interns
  • Watchfrogs
  • Chris Heider
We will have on-site tattooing as well as auctioning off beautiful artwork from different tattoo artists. Come and get a tattoo for a good cause, from:
  • Trivium Tattoo
  • Dark Light Gallery Tattoos

  • The event will held behind We Care Arts, in our back lot. There is plenty of parking surrounding the agency. For more information, contact Christine Corba, We Care Arts’ Special Events Coordinator at 937.212.3777 or at ccorba@wecarearts.org.
For information on the 5K Run, Stroll, and Roll please click the link: http://wecarearts.blogspot.com/2016/06/we-care-arts-first-annual-5k-run-stroll_9.html


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Meet Another Enthusiastic We Care Artist...

We Care Arts is proud to introduce one of our many talented artists, David Hiday.  He is a very active person and happily shares a wide variety of interests he has.  Below in his bio you will also learn what a positive influence WCA has had on his life and who he is today.  After reading his biography imagine how much the staff and volunteers truly enjoy helping to make a difference in the lives of our artists.  

David enjoys drawing and coloring in coloring books. He loves costumes and dressing up. He has many of his own costumes, from Star Trek to hillbillies, Spiderman and the Hulk. He has done finger paintings in previous art classes which hang in the hallway at home. He has blossomed since coming to We Care Arts. He really enjoys painting and special little projects that the staff gives him. He likes to go to Kings Island and his favorite ride is Scooby Doo. His favorite day is Friday. Around the house he does weekly chores like vacuuming and shaking out the rugs. He takes out the garbage, takes care of the cats and the dishwasher.  He is very active in church and has a very strong bond with the Lord. He likes to sing very loudly in church, and is encouraged by the other members who feel that he is really singing from his heart! His favorite TV show is Star Trek Enterprise and The X-Files. David loves to perform for an audience and is happy to dance for anyone. He dances at our events and is the hit of the night! 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Color Your Steps

One of our art teachers, Sharen Eninger, here at We Care Arts enthusiastically explains how she designs shoes as a DIY project.  She has truly enjoyed painting shoes for a long time.  Sharen expressed her passion when she says “It is fun to do wearable art.”

Steps to painting amazing looking shoes:     
  • ·         Select plain white canvas shoes 
  • ·         Draw your design (geometric/organic figures) in pencil 
  • ·         Choose your colors
  • ·         Paint bigger areas first
  • ·         Or use thick sharpies for big areas
  • ·         Use fine sharpies to make smaller designs

Sharen taught this activity to our artists on visiting artist day which was Monday, July 11.  This was a perfect opportunity for people to learn something new as well as experience doing wearable art! 


Please find a short you tube video below that shows a portion of the fun filled class! 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Let's celebrate Social Wellness Month!

The month of July is the perfect time to celebrate Social Wellness month, especially with all the fun filled activities we enjoy during the summer.  Social wellness is just one aspect of social well being along with physical, emotional and intellectual wellness. Developing and building positive interaction with others is very helpful for ourselves and others in many ways.   People who are socially isolated are more likely to experience illness as compared to people who are not isolated and they have an increased death rate of 2 to 3 times higher than those who are not socially isolated.

We Care Arts provides a fun and safe environment where people can socialize and build positive interactions with one another. Every time I come to work at WCA it makes my day when I hear all the people expressing how much they enjoy being here.  When we ask our clients what's one of your favorite things about WCA, the most common answer is "the people" or "my friends".  
A news source study stated that approximately 20% of individuals feel lonely or isolated during their free time and because of this WCA has become like a second home to many of our clients.  

A few Tips to add "social" to your Social Wellness Month:

1.  Socialize with friends: Having a conversation with friends and family is a good way to improve quality of life. 

2.  Volunteer in your community: Volunteering is a great way to help others but also a great way to help ourselves live a healthier life.

3. Laugh a little more: Laughter is one of the best medicines out there.  It can help you to sleep better, feel better and even help protect against heart attacks!

4. Attending social events: going to various social events allows you to network with others and develop positive interactions and learn to do many things.  We Care Arts provides many amazing opportunities like this.  If you are interested in learning about our upcoming social events and/or volunteer opportunities you can find all the information on our website below......
We Care Arts

Thursday, June 23, 2016

How creative expression can change the lives of people affected by PTSD

June is National PTSD Awareness Month

June is the month for us to raise awareness for PTSD and the potential treatment as well as honor the large population of individuals with or affected by PTSD.  In 2010 Congress named June 27th as PTSD Awareness Day.  Then in 2014 the Senate designated the full month of June as National PTSD Awareness Month. 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is more likely to develop after a person experiences a traumatic event.  After this type of event, most people may develop painful memories for months and even years after the event.  For some people the effects of the event fade but for others the thoughts, memories and feelings never go away even with time.  

Sadly, Mental Health experts are not sure why some people develop PTSD while others don't.  If stressors don't improve over time and they disrupt their everyday life, it is important to seek help to determine if PTSD is present.

One of the many factors that has a positive impact on the life of an individual effected by PTSD is the arts.

Science has demonstrated that creative expression can alter not only personal mood but also lower blood pressure, and help with sleep and the immune response system. These creative expressions include photography, writing, painting, sculpting and many other activities.

 We Care Arts is a wonderful place for individuals with PTSD, along with all types of disabilities, to be empowered to express themselves through creative arts.