Running a weekly DrawBridge art group can be both challenging and rewarding. Facilitators and Volunteers bring their creativity, patience, compassion, humor and generosity to each session, supporting and uplifting each child’s artistic exploration. For those who run more than one group, the challenges and rewards are multiplied.
Susan Peterson facilitates three groups each week, and always brings her good humor and creative mojo to each gathering. As an artist-in-residence in the public school system, she intrinsically understands the value for children of making art, and sees her DrawBridge work as her way of helping alleviate the suffering of kids who have experienced homelessness.
“I bring to the kids a love for art, in a playful and compassionate manner. They ground and inspire me, and we have a lot of fun! I hope the number one thing a child gets from DrawBridge is pride in their creations, and self-confidence.”
Facilitator and Board member Debra Capitan, who has run a group at a Tenderloin affordable housing complex for many years, says,
“I really enjoy working with different populations of children. The children in the new group live with single moms who are struggling to support their families and find permanent affordable housing. I can only imagine how stressful this must be for all involved. Many of these children are also dealing with stress related to previous incidents of domestic violence.”
For Jennifer Lipson, what may have started as a temporary situation kept her coming back for the last eight years:
“I was inspired to facilitate a second group when my teenage daughter wanted to work as a Drawbridge volunteer. That became a two-year commitment that both of us looked forward to. When she went off to college, the routine and my engagement were already in place, so I stayed.”
“Facilitating three groups gives me the opportunity to work with different populations of children who’ve had different experiences in their young lives,” says Facilitator and Board member Marianne Owens. “Most all of them have faced adversity in some form.
“The best part of any of my art groups is when I see kids being kids, connecting with each other, and having fun creating art.”
Whatever the motivation, we are grateful to have so many supportive and passionate Facilitators and volunteers who run our art groups with patience, humor and loving kindness.
Could this be your passion too? Learn more on our Volunteer page, https://www.drawbridge.org/volunteer/.