Human nature is to congregate in groups. Spiva is reaching out to these groups, as they are already established, safe, and comfortable for the participants. Spiva is intentionally and strategically expanding outreach to:
Youth, Homeschool, Veterans, Seniors, and Adults with Disabilities
These are the school districts immediately surrounding Spiva Center for the Arts: Joplin, Webb City, Carl Junction, Seneca, Carthage, Diamond and Neosho. In every one of these districts, half or more of the K-12 enrollment qualify for free or reduced lunch. By extension, the families of these children struggle financially. They do not have expendable income for visual art instruction or experiences beyond their once a week fifty-minute art education in their school.
Spiva has served these kids through the annual Third Grade Field Trip, where 1500 come to visit the galleries and make projects with their classroom and art teachers. This is often the first time they have been to a gallery.
Spiva hosts or has hosted these youth groups:
Boys & Girls Club
Carthage home school group
Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts
St. Paul’s kindergarten camp
Webb City Schools immigrant families
Impact Church youth program
Kansas Gear-Up foster care program
North Middle School through the Spiva Sketchbook Project
Americans for the Arts research shows that low-income students who are highly engaged in the arts are more than twice as likely as their peers with low arts involvement to earn a Bachelor’s degree.
Spiva’s Vet Art program has exploded this year under the leadership of staff person Aaron Skapik and a partnership with Compass Quest. 7 classes for Veterans or Veterans and their families have served over 60 Vets, many of them repeat customers. Vet Art includes a strong partnership with Crackpot Pottery, who hosts not only workshops but works one-on-one with Vets to deepen their therapeutic expression.
I am a veteran who has been struggling for nearly a year with being a shut in; if it wasn’t for this program, I don’t know that I would leave the house. This program has become a huge blessing. It is something I look forward to and the therapeutic nature of art has been (surprisingly to me anyway) very helpful. I have found a release, a distraction, a means of getting together with a group of people who get it.
-A Vet Art participant
Spiva also works with adults with disabilities. Artist Jesse McCormick weekly teaches Memories in the Making, hosted by the Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Missouri and sponsored by the Friends of St. Avips. The Independent Living Center comes once a month to view the galleries and make art.
According to an Arts in Healthcare State of the Field Report, some of the documented benefits of participating in visual arts include:
- Decreasing symptoms of distress and improving quality of life
- Improving depression and influencing fatigue levels
- Reducing acute stress symptoms
- Increasing support, psychological strength, and providing new insights about their illness
- Strengthening positive feelings, alleviating distress, and clarifying existential/spiritual for ill patients
Thank you to our first year patrons of outreach support, the Maridan Stanley Kassab Family and Lance and Sharon Beshore. If you are interested in supporting Spiva Outreach, please contact us.
“Celebrate the creative experience – be a community catalyst.”