Rise, Inc. recently held an open house and art exhibit at its Coon Rapids location to showcase the works of their clients who are a part of the art therapy program.
Rise serves adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. According to Jodi Blume, Senior Director of Life Enrichment Programs and Community Integration at Rise, this was the first event Rise has hosted for the public since the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This once was a warehouse where we did only production work," Blume said.
The new exhibit hall was part of a 6,000 square foot remodel at the Coon Rapids site along with smaller rooms used for life enrichment programs.
"Every single room is dedicated to certain activities or therapies or art.” Blume said. “And people can pick and choose what they're interested in."
Stacy Gross has been an art therapist at Rise for the past seven years. She knows first hand how rewarding it is to work with people with disabilities and teach them what's possible.
"They have a blast, anything that looks like it's going to be messy they're really excited about,” Gross said. “And when I show up with a cart full of supplies and a big canvas, they know it's going to be messy."
Each piece of art is for sale with profits going to the artist. For them, the rewards are much more than monetary.
"It's that feeling of empowerment that they're also getting something back from doing a piece of art," Blume said.
To connect with Rise programs like art therapy, click here to visit the Rise.org website.