Art & Soul Studios
We have a vision to create a different kind of space.
Art & Soul is a 501(c)3 non-profit started by Val Olson, a parent who wanted to provide an outlet for her adult son with Down's Syndrome and other adults with disabilities. The program aims to help adults with disabilities express themselves, find community, and build a sense of purpose through art.
Val noticed a gap in activities for adults with disabilities once they age out of the school system. She started to research ways in which art could help her son and others in similar situations.
The idea behind Art & Soul is to use art as a way for individuals with disabilities to express themselves and explore their creativity.
Art has been shown to be an effective means of reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. It also promotes socialization and communication skills, which are often challenging for people with disabilities.
The program aims to start small by engaging agencies and parents of people with disabilities to be the "boots on the ground" to spread the word and help identify potential participants.
Parents of individuals with disabilities are often looking for ways to engage their children and provide them with meaningful activities, so they are likely to be very supportive of this program.
The art program & events will be held in different local spaces, and are geared to empowering adults with disabilities to create and explore different forms of communication.
Art & Soul will also provide opportunities in the near future in a commercial kitchen called "Charlie's Place" supplying baked goods and lunch to a new Thunder Coffee location, Spring 2024.
Employees of Charlie's Place will be involved in making all the pastries and lunches, providing a sense of purpose and pride in their work.
The ultimate goal of Art & Soul is to create a program that is sustainable and provides meaningful opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Through art and work, participants will be able to express themselves, build self-esteem, and contribute to the community.
As part of the program, photos and contacts of participants and their artwork will be shared on social media and the Art & Soul website. This will help to showcase the talent and creativity of individuals with disabilities and spread awareness of the program.