Yesterday I volunteered to help local kids paint the NOMAD ArtBus!
What is a NOMAD ArtBus? Pretty much what it sounds like. This bus travels to different locations to give local kids a chance to get their hands dirty and create awesome art.
Yesterday I saw boys and girls (and, admittedly adults too) having a great time making the creative images in their minds come to life on the canvas of the bus. Ages ranged from barely walking and talking to the full grown variety of artists. Some parents tried to hang back, and I encouraged them to grab a cup of paint and create. Some did, some still felt shy. Regardless, everyone had a good time. The looks of joy on the kids’ faces were amazing. The pride they took in showing off their artwork was inspiring. The pride the parents showed as they snapped pictures of their artist with their artwork brought a smile to my face.
Of course, I participated too. At first I didn’t know if I would be allowed, since I was technically working. But in between helping the kids with their aprons and cups of paint, I was able to contribute to the bus too. (I made the head of the pirate dog, and some of those hand prints are mine!)
It’s not always about painting the bus with NOMAD Art Studios. They offer kids other art projects too. It just depends on the day and the even.
They also make sure kids who might be having a harder time in life (e.g. foster care centers, domestic violence shelters) get a chance to create art and have some fun. This event was at a local park in a lower income area of town.
I learned about this organization from a new friend I met randomly at a local brewery. I’m so glad I learned about it. Their motto is “Art for All,” and in a time when art programs are getting funds cut (or cut altogether) from schools organizations like this are so important.
I know how much of a difference art has made in my life. Once upon a time I didn’t think of myself as being creative at all. I didn’t have good, healthy ways to express my thoughts, emotions, and creative impulses. Taking up painting, creating mosaics, learning about leather work, creating jewelry are all things that have fed my soul in recent years. I’m so glad to have found an organization where I can give back and share my love of these things with others.
Last night was my first time volunteering with the NOMAD ArtBus, but I’ll definitely be helping again. If you see it driving around, give them a honk and a wave.