Three times each spring, you’ll find the Family Service & Guidance Center cafeteria jumping. Paint flies. Construction paper is meticulously cut and glued. Charcoal meets paper. Kids are buzzing with creativity. It’s an FSGC Art Day activity.
Now, thanks to a generous grant from ARTSConnect, the cafeteria won’t stop hopping anytime soon.
ARTSConnect, which promotes the arts across the Topeka community, has named FSGC one of 13 TopArts Grant recipients. Their gift will allow FSGC to purchase art supplies to be used at Art Day and Art Night activities.
Sarah Fizell, executive director of ARTSConnect, said, “We’re proud to support programs like FSGC’s art activities for kids living with mental health issues. As schools cut back their arts programs and we see very little funding at the state level, it could not be more important to ensure that programs like this have the funding that they need to support our fellow Topekans.”
Jancy Pettit, FSGC Marketing Coordinator and facilitator of art activities, said ARTSConnect’s gift meets a crucial need for FSGC clients.
“Art is often an outlet for emotions that they just don’t know how to express,” she explained, “but for a lot of our kids’ families, art supplies are just too expensive. So we’re proud to make those opportunities available. It’s an important part of helping these kids heal.”
Art Day and Art Night activities are offered in the spring and open to all current FSGC clients at no charge. Artwork created at those activities – about 150 pieces – goes on display at the annual FSGC Kids’ Art Show and Pizza Party in May, and from those, 12-15 are selected to go up for bid at the annual Works of Heart Event live auction in August. Last year’s Works of Heart Event raised nearly $109,000 to benefit the thousands of children living with anxiety, depression, ADHD and other mental health issues and their families that FSGC serves each year.