2017 Holiday Letter

Thank you for taking the time to read the news of AfA! This holiday season, we hope you will be blessed with love, health and hope, in the same way that reach out to bless the most vulnerable in our community with the same through poetry and art and a belief in their value.

Hopefully you can join us for the holiday party on the 5th (invitation below)!

Meanwhile, here’s what we have to share during this wonderful season of lights:

2017-Annual Request Letter or read text below:

Happy Holidays!

At Art from Ashes we believe in the power of gratitude and find small ways to practice it daily. Everyone who enters our office is invited to name their blessings on a white board that hangs prominently in our workspace. To end everystaff meeting, we all participate in a gratitude circle, sharing why we are grateful for each person at the table, including what we appreciate ourselves. We do this because taking a moment out of our day to appreciate the beauty and magic of our lives  rejuvenates our souls and gives us strength.

According to Dr. Robert Holden, “The miracle of gratitude is that it shifts your perception to such an extent that it changes the world you see.” Sound familiar? In our creative empowerment workshops, young people learn they have the power to shift their perception of themselves and their world through creative expression—and it changes their lives forever. As 2017 comes to a close, we would like to share just a few of our many bright spots with you. Here’s what we’re celebrating this year:

  • We’re growing! In 2017 we welcomed four new board members, expanded our staff to include a Community Collaborator and received funding for a Resource Development Coordinator, trained seven new youth workshop facilitators, and according to October statistics, we have already surpassed the number of youth served in 2016.
  • We added a second free drop-in workshop called Creative Time to our Wednesday line-up! From 2:30-4 pm, youth can hang out in our space and express themselves through visual art before the 4:30-6:30 pm Phoenix Rising workshop, due to community funding, including grants, individual and corporate support (please see our website for a list of funders!).
  • For the fourth time, Phoenix Rising has been named one of the top 50 arts and humanities-based programs in the country by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

These accomplishments wouldn’t be possible without donations from those who care about youth and the arts. All of us at Art from Ashes are grateful to YOU for your continued support of our creative empowerment programming. Your funding helps youth express their stories through art and poetry; connect with themselves, each other and their community; and transform their perceptions of themselves into valuable and powerful creative geniuses.

We hope you are grateful for the work we are doing on behalf of the youth and the community, and invite you to generously “give where you live” on Colorado Gives Day. Art from Ashes, as always, exists to serve by empowering youth and in so doing, supporting us all as a community. Please donate for Colorado Gives Day before Dec 5th at midnight.

With gratitude,

Catherine O’Neill Thorn, Executive Director

Alyssa Bennett Smith, agency operations and lead facilitator

Jess Whetsel, program facilitation and lead facilitator

Jen Harris, community collaborator