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Westward Ho Residents: Creativity & Socialization/Bead Museum supports this process on September 7, 2010, morning workshop for over 30 persons

The Westward Ho is an old hotel in downtown Phoenix that has been converted into 225 apartments with over 300 residents of poorer economic means, a HUD-Assisted property. The Cultural Arts Coalition continues to outreach into community facilities that will advantage from arts programming as a means to build and sustain healthy communities. It is the CAC’s long term goal to build a downtown support network with other non-profits at the Westward Ho to assist with the creative and socialization needs of this population.

Christy Puetz, Education Coordinator at the Bead Museum in Glendale, Arizona, through grant funding provided by the Phoenix Suns Charities was the guest artist for this workshop.

Through her interaction with not only the residents, but the ASU Nursing staff that comes into this facility twice a week to provide wellness services and educational instruction, Christy facilitated a bead activity for over 30 individuals.

The Cultural Arts Coalition (judy butzine, co-director) is an organization that utilizes ABCD (Asset Based Community Development) resources of a community to benefit the development of that particular community. They have been coordinating art making activities on site for the past 3 months. The first step is to identify the community through recognition that a need exists as vocalized by the participants. In this case it was through the staff and a couple of residents.

The theme of the workshop was to not only create an origami crane as a metaphor for peace, but to add beads as a means to set intentions for creating a culture of peace through diverse acts of Peace Building.

The residents of all ages and backgrounds worked together to make this event Fun and Informative for all…the resident above created 2 cranes with metallic star and flower beads attached to give to dear friends who were ill.

Abby one of the younger residents also assists with art making instruction at PSA Art Awakenings artawakenings.org (a behavioral health agency that utilizes the arts as a means of therapy). Here Abby meets and talks to Kay Jarrell, Clinical Nursing Director of the ASU Nursing students. Abby has been a key resident in conveying the need for this kind of “interactive programming” to build community within Westward Ho. She is always on site to assist with a loving heart where ever she is needed.

Every nursing student had time to learn about the purposefulness of this activity and to create their own bracelet with meaning.

The Cultural Arts Coalition’s primary goal is to provide spaces and opportunities for persons to engage in dialogue, experiences, and research that expand the definition and understanding of the role of the arts in community and academic settings. Our intent is to help others, whether children, teens, people of middle age or older adults, to use the arts as a mean by which they can explore "the human condition" (including her or his condition) in and through time.

By networking with other community arts organizations and community providers this Creativity and Socialization programming is supporting the residents at the Westward Ho with a means to build community. It the picture above Nola in the orange shirt is one of the residents who invited the CAC to consider approaching the Westward Ho and Abby another resident who is physically disabled feels the CAC is meeting this challenge.

This resident created 3 bracelets—one acknowledges the honoring of herself as a warrior.

Besides being a means to engage in socialization for an older woman pictured here it is also a means to stimulate motor dexterity.

The Westward Ho staff was being visited by officials from the corporate office. They are very supportive of this kind of programming and will look forward to assisting in securing grants to continue its funding and operation. Sharon Phillips, from the Westward Ho is always right on target to make sure all of our activities requiring set up and promotion assistance for the workshops to run smoothly. The CAC is grateful for Administrative Director of Westward Ho Linda Spencer and her continued guidance.

Once again we thank Christy for being with us for the morning. Her role in not only our local community (the Bead Museum http://www.beadmuseumaz.org ) but national and international communities through Beads of Courage http://beadsofcourage.net is significant!!!!

On September 21st, Tuesday from 5:45-8:30 the CAC received a festival grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts to provide an evening of entertainment focusing on the United Nations declared International Day of Peace http://www.internationaldayofpeace.org @ the Westward Ho.

Documentation respectfully submitted by judy butzine, September 8, 2010