I am hoping that this note finds you well during these stressful times. There have been pandemics before and we will get through this if we do our best to take care.
For most of us in the U.S. it means getting quiet, living more simply, staying away from others for a short time.
For other people in the U. S. this task is not so simple. Many people need to continue to work for fear of eviction or lack of food. For others having a place to get meals is now more of a challenge, soup kitchens that provided congregate meals aren’t serving (although many are offering food boxes for take out). For others missing the support of community can enhance anxiety and fear, possibly leading to relapse. Buses are not running or taking few riders, to be “safer”, while completing their limited routes.
Photos taken from a YOUTH GROUP this past January. Kyley Shurrona, Aurora Volunteer was the Instructing Artist.
Pandemics happen, thankfully NOT very frequently, not even in our lifetimes. Every day I have been thinking about what I can do to help. I am now in a higher risk age group, so as hard as it has been, I haven’t gone into the community to reach out and do some of the things I had done not so long ago.
As Board President and coordinator for Aurora Studio this is what volunteers and I have done. We have been calling all of our participants weekly to check in, see how they are doing and insure they are all set with food and medications. I have hosted an on line art group with our friends at Seek Healing. I am working on future planning and last week hired Aurora Studio’s first time ever Grant Writer.
Making art during turbulent times is one way to navigate. There are times in each of our lives when we truly don’t know which way the boat is heading. All we can do is observe and document our passage. As humans, we can do this through the arts, it is one of the many gifts the arts bring us.
In September, I left my job in order to set the sails for Aurora, for the program to become more sustainable. Plans for sustainability include one and a half time paid staff (as we are now primarily volunteers, myself included) and a space of our own (we now use a local community center one day a week).
During these times of financial uncertainty, I am asking each and every one of you to do your part, be the helper that Fred Rogers talked about. Whether you donate to your local food pantry, hospital, homeless shelter…help in whatever way you can.
(Buncombe County Relief link: https://www.buncombecounty.org/countycenter/news-detail.aspx?id=18584)
And, if you want to support a program that promotes individuals with life’s challenges turning them into art and creating community, of course Aurora Studio will accept donations. Donations can be made at: www.aurorastudio-gallery.com/donate
We truly are in this together. I wish you and yours safe passage (and remember to wash your hands!).
M.Ed, LCAS, Founder and Board President