SHOUT OUT TO THE ORGS I WORK(ed) WITH 2

Been vey busy, but here are two more highlights of the orgs I work with:

Family Connections

For the past thirteen years, thousands of children and their parents /caregivers have benefited from the variety of services and educational/ literacy programs offered by Portola Family Connections (Family Connections). The center provides an array of children’s and adult services: early childhood development programs, pre-kindergarten classes, educational and recreational support for elementary school children, parent education programs, including child development, nutrition and ESL classes, counseling services, resource and referral assistance, and community building activities.

Family Connections operates programs at two sites. Their original San Bruno Avenue location (the Portola-FC Site) serves as the headquarters and continues to be the only multi-service family support agency in the Portola neighborhood, serving a total of 1,376 participants last year. Since they purchased the 7,000 square‑foot Portola‑FC Site in 2000, they have completed extensive renovations to improve and expand their program space.

In response to community requests in the Excelsior neighborhood, Family Connections opened a family resource center called Excelsior Family Connections (the Excelsior-FC Site) in January 2004. Housed in the centrally located Coleman Advocates building on Vienna Street, the Excelsior-FC Site is the only multicultural family support center in this underserved community, benefiting over 500 participants annualy.

Creative Growth Art Center

Over the past 32 years, Creative Growth has grown from the first independent art center for people with disabilities to an internationally recognized center whose artists are exhibited and collected in contemporary art and outsider art contexts around the world. Today CGAC is the largest arts center of its kind and engages over 150 adults from the San Francisco Bay Area in 69 ongoing workshops. Classes are led by professional artists in a range of media, including painting, drawing, ceramics, woodworking, printmaking, rugs, and sculpture. In 1982, Creative Growth purchased our 13,000 sq. ft. home. The space includes studio/workshop areas, a gallery and adjoining gallery store, a kitchen, bathrooms, offices, and storage space.

Creative Growth is a vital model of artistic and economic empowerment. CGAC’s free exhibitions provide an important and sometimes sole source of income for its artists, and act as a powerful means of demystifying an often-invisible community. CGAC has ten annual in-house exhibitions and an extensive schedule of outside exhibitions. CGAC’s instructors are themselves distinguished artists in their field, with a long list of public commissions and artistic recognitions. Since Creative Growth’s founding the organization has:

Provided 1,000 artists with disabilities with a supportive multi-media art studio and gallery program

  • Conducted 50,000 classes in the arts and independent living for adults with disabilities

  • Produced more than 500,000 pieces of art

  • Welcomed more than 160,000 visitors from all over the world

  • Established the world’s first gallery for adults with disabilities with support from the NEA

  • Mounted 1,700 gallery exhibitions in our Oakland gallery, in the Bay Area, across the country and around the world including at art museums and galleries in Switzerland, England, France, Japan, Ireland and Slovakia

  • Hosted 2,520 educational tours for school children, college classes, foreign visitors, and tour groups

  • Provided in-kind mentoring and consulting services for the start-up of more than 30 arts and disabilities organizations across the country and around the world.