We are planning on our next art exhibit to highlight the importance of housing those with the greatest needs in our community. Stay tuned for dates and times....
Artist Harvey Brody was content to stay in his studio and create art but an opportunity to help create art classes, especially for the underserved children of Healdsburg, got him out into the community as the director of education for the Healdsburg Center for the Arts.
At the request of a friend he made a presentation to the Healdsburg Sunrise Rotary about the importance of art programs for children. It was there that he met Colleen Carmichael, the executive director for Reach for Home. Later that week she showed him the artwork of third graders from The Healdsburg School reflecting their responses to a presentation on homelessness. He was overwhelmed by the emotion expressed and the insight these children had into a plight few of them had ever seen and never known.
Harvey realized this should not be the end of the road for these artworks as they were a route to knowledge and understanding for the children, their parents and anyone who viewed them. Together, Harvey and Colleen, formulated a program to go into the Healdsburg schools and talk about homelessness and encourage the students to respond with any form of artistic expression they chose.
Reach for Home partners with people in North Sonoma County who are struggling with or at risk of losing housing. The organization transforms lives by engaging clients in an action plan for their success and provides them with the skills needed to attain permanent housing. Reach for Home provides services to the homeless and those threatened with homelessness by offering temporary housing, shower services, interim apartment units, food assistance in conjunction with the Food Pantry and Farm to Pantry, medical assistance in conjunction with Alliance Medical Center and Alexander Valley Healthcare and temporary financial relief. The goal of Reach for Home is to increase sobriety, income and independence and reduce homelessness in our communities.
As an extension of the art for students program, Harvey now does art with the homeless one day a week. Many of these works will be part of the exhibit and help to individualize and personalize these clients, make them real people. In addition, professional artists have been asked to be part of the Paul Mahder Gallery display. All of the artwork will be for sale and all proceeds from work of the homeless goes directly to them. Professional artists will donate a portion of their sales to Reach for Home while the sales of art created by the students benefits Reach for Home.
More artists and projects are being announced in the months leading up to what will surely be a memorable and multi-dimensional exhibit that evokes and educates as to the crisis that is homelessness and potential solutions in Northern Sonoma County.
Harvey Brody hopes to raise funds for Reach for Home through ad sales in the programs and plans on seeking sponsors for the event.
Harvey, Colleen and the entire staff and board of Reach for Home intend to continue to remind our community of the plight of homelessness and their efforts to reduce despair and increase hope for the future. What better way to look to the future than through the eyes of our children.