It's not just what Art on Wheels does, but how they do it. The staff is the organizations biggest asset. They are talented at art and at the art of empowering others through art. This is evidenced by projects that look like they are created by seasoned artists - yet, they are done by Art on Wheels clients': those will little access to art or art education!
This organization is doing great things in the Richmond area. Their diverse and unique programing provides great experiences for the students. The Exec Director and Director of Programming are very skilled artists and teachers. I have watched them take a room full of elderly public housing residents, many of whom had never touched a paint brush before, and by the end of the day these women had made their own silk scarves.
Responsible in planning the special programming for a small non-profit and historic site, I was looking for an unique art series to host for my patrons. With the help of Art on Wheels I was able to plan numerous one-hour workshops that catered to our guests aged 3-103.
Each workshop started off with Kevin and Andrea giving the participants an idea of the history of the craft, linking the workshops to our mission, and giving the participants that much more special of an experience. The workshops were reasonable in time, and easy to set up and break down....leaving no mess for me to take care of! Perfection.
Many events are still planned at Hanover Tavern today, and although I no longer work there, I will be attending the events to spend time with Andrea and Kevin, who have become friends and colleagues in the non-profit world!
I have found that the owners are truly sincere in their devotion to this organization. They have put their heart and souls into bringing a hands-on concept to folks who would never have that chance before, They are paying forward to the community in a true inspiring field!
Art on Wheels brings an amazing and much needed creativity to a city bent on depriving its citizens of art and music. As a long time supporter, I have had the privilege at get to know the founders and attend some of their events , and I have seen, first hand, how introducing art in a hands-on manner really empowers a person, which in turn will empower the community. By providing a creative outlet to many who are physically, mentally, emotionally and financially at a disadvantage, it brings a completely new, more positive perspective to someone's life. It's this positivity, coupled with a bottomless motivation to help those around them, that makes Art on Wheels and its founders truly remarkable. Having the patience to help many groups of people who normally don't receive any sort of artistic release--homeless and community homes, abuse shelters, elderly and mentally challenged facilities--acts as a lifeline and a way of expressing emotions that many of their students struggle with. It's amazing that created their dream from scratch--a way of sharing their love of art with people who can really enjoy and benefit from it. Richmond, Virginia is truly indebted to their vision.