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Arts for All

May 29, 2014

Last January, my SO surprised me with a gift and registered me in an oil painting class at Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW). Around the same time, my cousin, an award-winning artist in the United States and Malaysia, asked us to return all of his beautiful drawings that we had been happily storing on our walls. Since then, I have decorated our house with art that I made with the skills learned at CHAW, and the organization has become an enormous part of my life.

It’s a place that offers people of all ages an environment for exploration, art, learning, and trust – essentially everything that inspired me get my MA in Museums & Galleries in Education. Because I don’t work in a museum, I joined the CHAW board of directors last fall to stay connected to the arts in a place that encourages accessible arts. Soon after, I volunteered for something called Paint Bucket. At the time, I had no idea what it was, but it sounded cute and fun. I thought maybe I’d be painting a fence or something. Unfortunately for the fence, the significance of me volunteering for “Paint Bucket” is really that, alongside fellow board member Patrick Crowley, I am co-chairing CHAW’s annual campaign, meaning we’re in charge of raising $65,000 in 65 days!

Paint Bucket supports CHAW’s tuition assistance program which provided $75,000 in aid last year to children and families who couldn’t otherwise afford it. As part of that program, CHAW provided free summer programming to a group of children from the DC General Homeless Shelter, and we are working to expand our programs for the 500+ children in the shelter. In 42 years, CHAW has NEVER denied a child the opportunity to embrace individuality in the arts the CHAW way. DC is a better place because of CHAW, where children aren’t forgotten on the illustrious Capitol Hill.

I hope you’ll consider donating to the cause and sharing everything you love about the CHAW experience with others.

I will, in fact, be painting the fence in mid-June with a community service group from work – an idea inspired by my initial /mis/understanding of Paint Bucket:)

Arts for all,