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Organizational Update From Executive Director Karen LaShelle
Organizational Update from Executive Director Karen LaShelle
September 2, 2020

Organizational Update from Executive Director Karen LaShelle

Art may not always be top of mind, especially in uncertain times like these, yet during this separation when we all seek joy and connection, we are reminded that art has the power to heal, transform, and create community. And it is the process of artmaking—creative expression—that provides a rich and unique opportunity for individuals to try out new ideas and problem-solve, to communicate their emotions, to build their personal confidence, and to connect with peers to learn about differences. 

Creative Action’s educational model to inspire students of all ages to become Creative Artists, Courageous Allies, Critical Thinkers, and Confident Leaders is essential now more than ever. And it is for this reason that we remain committed to providing creative learning opportunities to our community and why we have worked diligently to shift the way we deliver programs and services.

Since the 2019-20 school year when campuses closed, our staff has worked tirelessly to pivot our programming from in-person to virtual so we may continue to support students of all ages to develop holistically through arts-based practices. In addition to launching our Online Learning Hub at no cost to the community, we have continued to support parent/child connection through our Music & Movement classes. And after moving our teen programs to 100% virtual meetings, we’ve heard from participants that Creative Action online classes are one of the only ways they feel they can connect with peers. We have also ensured that older adults in our Continuing Creativity program—many who are completely isolated at this time—stay connected to others by launching a letter exchange with members from our teen programs.

This fall, as the world poses unique challenges and unprecedented demands, we will be there to support our community. We will continue to provide opportunities for creative expression through virtual programs that will help our students emerge from these times strong, resilient, and hopeful. We are also deepening our pursuit of an anti-racist world and are creating additional educational resources for all our program participants, with the goal that we can all work towards a more equitable and just world.

While our organization was fortunate to benefit from federal recovery funds, the cancellation of in-person programming and fundraising events has caused significant disruptions to our funding stream. We will go into this new fiscal year with the knowledge that we will lose a substantial amount of money—and we have come to terms with that. We are making the choice to invest in our staff and keep the team intact so that when we emerge from this chapter, we are ready to be back in schools and in the community doing what we do best.

This year looks very different for all of us, but with the endless dedication of our staff and the generous support of friends like you, our view remains the same: art will allow us to create a better version of ourselves and our communities

We are so grateful for the families we serve, our staff, the Board of Directors, partners, and funders. Thank you all.

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