This is the eighth in a nine-part series spotlighting the Chatham County Arts Council’s Grassroots Grant recipients for 2014. The Grassroots Grant Program allows the Chatham County Arts Council to work with our own community members to determine where artists and arts funding can make the greatest impact locally.
Guess what your arts council has been up to? We’re helping connect folks with disabilities to meaningful art experiences! Chatham Trades, a Grassroots Grant recipient this year, will use its grant dollars to pay local artists to provide art classes to individuals with disabilities. Chatham Trades believes that everyone is an artist at heart and that everyone deserves a chance to express themselves no matter what skills they have.
If you haven’t heard of Chatham Trades, here’s the scoop: Chatham Trades provides opportunities to meet the needs and desires of individuals with disabilities by facilitating access to jobs and training. The diverse and innovative vocational opportunities help improve the quality of life of our community and have a lasting effect on participants. Chatham Trades also makes resources and opportunities available for families of individuals served by the organization.
We sat down with Chatham Trades Executive Director Shawn Poe, to pick her brain about Chatham Trades, the arts, and life in Chatham County. Here’s what she had to say about…
…how art is an important piece of Chatham Trade’s work:
“Folks with disabilities sometimes find it difficult to verbally express themselves but through art they can visually illustrate their feelings and personality.”
…if a genie in a bottle could grant one wish for Chatham Trades:
“It would be for a bigger building to house the organization since we have outgrown our current location. We are looking to expand in order to continue offering the many diverse services.”
…what opportunities are there for community members to become involved with Chatham Trades?
“Volunteers are welcome and are a great help with the summer programming. Volunteers can also help with our monthly tree decorating activity in downtown Siler City.”
…what three words describe artists you have worked with:
“Creative. Understanding. Cooperative.”
The Grassroots Arts Program is offered by Chatham County Arts Council through the generous assistance of the North Carolina Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of North Carolina and the National Endowment of the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.