Kettering Non-profit Focuses On The Healing Power Of Art
We Care Arts in Kettering gives individuals with disabilities the opportunity to create, market and sell their own works of art. The mission is one that Executive Director Darlene Langhout was aware of before she came to lead the non-profit.
“I had experience with We Care Arts through a grief program. My husband passed away in 2013 and my daughter and I were able to work through that program, it was a ten-week program and have some therapeutic art in order to put us in a better place, and so having experienced it, I truly believe the ability for it to work for all individuals not just our primary client base,” she said.
Programs are open to individuals experiencing developmental disabilities, physical handicaps, or mental health challenges. Langhout says the organization is about “changing disabilities into possibilities.”
“We teach them art, we market and sell their completed artworks, and we pay them a commission. So wrapped into that, we build confidence, we build focus, we teach responsibilities through all of that programing, and in the end, a lot of our clientele that we help could be on a low or fixed-income and a lot of them rely on that commission that they make off of their artwork.”
Langhout says the organization is currently expanding and Development Director, Christine Corba, says the ability to do that comes in large part from the generous support they receive from the local community.
“We are very blessed at We Care Arts. We do you have a lot people that love us but now we’re growing and we would love to bring in more friends.”
“It’s one of those things that, once you walk into this building, once you see a piece of art that our clients have created, and how proud they feel about themselves you fall in love with it,” Corba says. “That’s exactly why I came in as a donor back in the day, and as soon as I walked into this building I fell in love with it. I knew that I needed to be of service to this organization, and I feel really blessed to be able work for them and able to bring new people who want to support what we do.”
Much of that support will come in the next few weeks as community members get the chance to take part in several fund-raising events for the organization. On August 4, 2017 they’ll host the 3rd Annual Run, Stroll and Roll 5K event at Indian Riffle Park in Kettering. That event will be followed on the same day by the community Arts & Drafts Festival held at the Wilmington Pike facility, behind We Care Arts. Corba calls it a family-friendly events featuring food, music, tattooing, and children’s activities.
“This is the fifth year we’ve done it and quite honestly, by 11 o’clock on Saturday night, I will be in a corner just rocking and humming to myself,” she laughs. “But it’s really fun. A lot people think with bands and tattooing, it’s not going to be family-friendly, yet it is.
You can hear more about We Care Arts mission and event details in this WYSO interview.