BY ASHLEY KOWITZ
Their motto is “let your creative spirit soar.” The Arts and Soul program provides a friendly as well as therapeutic place for people facing challenges to their sense of well-being. The program celebrated its 10th anniversary on Nov. 16 at the Cambridge Galleries.
“We’re not there to teach. We’re there to facilitate and mentor. There’s a big social aspect,” said David Hurst, one of the organizers of the Arts and Soul program.
The anniversary celebration had many ways to get involved, such as a tree where guests could write things that make them feel well on leaves to display. There was also a station where guests could decorate feathers that were added to the wings of an angel beneath the slogan “let your creative spirit soar.” They also offered refreshments to give visitors a chance to chat and get to know other people in their community.
“It’s a very diverse group, a very non-judgmental group. And a lot of them have financial problems, so to offer a program that is affiliated with the gallery is wonderful,” Hurst said.
To help support the continuation of the program there was artwork by those who participated in the program on sale.
“It’s quite awesome when you see the final artwork,” said Alfonso Espinos, a local comic book artist who volunteers with Arts & Soul working with the participants in his speciality, cartooning.
Local artists such as Espinos volunteer their time to work with Arts and Soul participants. They focus on the process of creating art and not the finished product.
“One of the best aspects of this workshop is that it brings out the creativity of every single participant,” Espinos said.
In the main entrance of the library and gallery, Hurst gave a speech to all who attended. He looked at the past and present of the program and spoke of the future goals they hope to achieve. He also said they hope to add music and dance to the Arts and Soul program.
The Arts and Soul workshops take place on the first Wednesday of the month at either the Queen’s Square Studio in the Cambridge Galleries or Riverside Print Studio, 7 Melville St., both in Cambridge. For more information contact 519-621-0460.