Staff Profile: Sarah Yazdani Makes Art Happen
Sarah Yazdani, Program Manager of DrawBridge, has been guiding the art groups for over a year now, and what a year it has been! Sarah is both a social worker and an artist, so she intrinsically understands the value of expressive art groups.
I always had art around me growing up, and still love to paint and draw. DrawBridge art groups inspire joy and self-esteem, and I’ve seen first-hand how kids can flourish through creative expression. DrawBridge Facilitators develop real connections with their groups, encouraging kids to truly be themselves.
Sarah was just six months into her job when COVID-19 shut down our art groups but she took to the challenge quickly; with support from the DrawBridge board and staff, Sarah re-imagined programming, developed safe, viable methods to connect with the kids, assessed the needs and capabilities of each site, rallied Facilitators and volunteers to take on new activities in support of our mission, and re-started some of the groups virtually over the summer.
We had to find different ways to support the kids we serve, as well as the Facilitators and Volunteers. It’s been an enormous undertaking. But there was a point early on when I realized it was an opportunity for growth.
Since we couldn’t meet with kids in person over the summer, Sarah spearheaded the effort to supply them with materials, activity sheets and heartfelt messages of support. Ultimately, hundreds of individual art kits were delivered to sites throughout the Bay Area, helping us to stay connected and insuring art remained available to the kids through lockdown.
I was amazed at how many people were willing to do whatever it took to deliver those art supplies. Facilitators and Volunteers, even new recruits, all reached out to ask, “how can I help?” At times it brought tears to my eyes. It was wonderful to see our community pull together.
If you are interested in volunteering with DrawBridge, please contact Sarah at 415-446-8166 or Sarah@drawbridge.org.