Sparking Creativity and Conversation through Art Buddies
Pallets with splashes of vibrant colors, wafts of cedar sawdust, and the heat of welding machines are the inspiration for conversation at Art Buddies. Operating out of an art studio located in the Hannah Community Center, Art Buddies was launched in 2013 by the Prime Time Seniors’ Program. For the past four years, it has united generations through the power of art and creativity. As an organization, the Credit Union acknowledges the importance of creativity and is proud to support the growth of Art Buddies through sponsorship.
Prime Time Seniors’ Program is an East Lansing organization committed to making aging an art form. They offer a variety of programs and courses to help enrich the lives of community members over the age of 55. One of these programs includes Art Buddies. At it’s core, it uses art to connect local retirees with students who have special needs. Together, buddies have created painted, woven, and welded masterpieces.
While the artwork is truly impressive, the most remarkable aspect of the program is the companionship that exists between buddies. Many students experience tremendous growth as a result of participation. For example, regular interactions help students with autism to overcome behavioral and social challenges. By working each week on craft projects with their buddies, Art Buddies helps build foundational skills and relationships.
This effect is two-fold, as students also teach their buddies the importance of open-mindedness. One program participant, Jean Brisbo, described working with her buddy on a weaving project. After contemplating what color and fibers to use, her Buddy, Val asked her to “just go with it!” Embracing this carefree attitude helped them weave a masterpiece they were both proud of. Three years later, Brisbo and Val are still crafting and growing together. She reflects on the impact of working with Val, noting that, “her creativity and non-critical eye saw what I could not. She is still an inspiration to me for that seemingly small suggestion.”
The power of creativity and ingenuity is limitless. MSUFCU recognizes this and we are proud to support the efforts of Art Buddies and the Prime Time Seniors’ Program to help make our community a better place. Giving back to the community is one of our core values, and we believe in investing in our community members and beyond. To learn more about the Prime Time Seniors’ Program and their resources, please click here.