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June 17, 2012
What You'll Get
The Issue: Living in a Nursing Home Can Lead to Loneliness
Many seniors and people with disabilities live in nursing homes and assisted-living centers where they have little control over their daily routines. This makes it hard for them to meet the other people with whom they live, potentially leading to loneliness and feelings of isolation. Recreational activities such as art projects can add variety to their days, impart new skills, give them an area of their lives that they fully control, and provide outlets for them to connect with their neighbors and establish new friendships.
The Campaign: Empower Seniors Through Art
If this Grassroots campaign raises $400, then the Mobile Art Program can visit four seniors and people with disabilities throughout the year, guiding them through art projects. Each additional $100 raised will sponsor another person in the art program. Instructors drive out to the nursing homes or living facilities at least 12 times per year to guide participants through such projects as painting self-portraits or creating clay models. Instructors bring all the necessary supplies and lead sessions for one–two hours, depending on the participants' abilities. In addition to gaining new skills, participants can see their art showcased and earn prizes in the organization's annual exhibits.
You can follow the progress of this and other Grassroots campaigns at the Groupon Grassroots website.
The Fine Print
About Mobile Art Program
Theresa Bond Zelazny founded the Mobile Art Program (MAP) after seeing how the creation of artwork helped her mother reduce stress and anxiety during a six-month battle with colon cancer. Today, MAP works toward empowering seniors and people with disabilities through artistic expression, helping them cope with their situations, regain a sense of control in their lives, and develop interpersonal relationships. Instructors drive a VW station wagon to nine facilities throughout underserved areas of Austin every month and conduct art classes where participants learn about the colors, compositions, and brush strokes employed by artists such as Frida Kahlo and Vincent van Gogh and model their own works off of these techniques. Instructors bring all of the supplies necessary for each project, giving the participants experience with a variety of mediums. By creating art in group settings, seniors can simultaneously gain new skills, build communities of friends, and bolster their self-esteem. At least once a year, the organization also holds a mini exhibit in each assisted-living facility, where residents vote on their favorite pieces and everyone receives prizes.