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Holladay Arts Council is Healing Through Art

Posted By Salt Lake County ZAP
June 15, 2016

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In December
2015, the Holladay
Arts Council
started on a 
great adventure... 

In December 2015, the Holladay Arts Council started on a great adventure with five refugee communities in Salt Lake City. These five groups had four workshops brought to their neighborhoods and community centers. The Arts Council worked closely with the Department of Workforce Services and Utah Division of Arts & Museums to coordinate over 100 refugee participants of all ages and over 60 volunteers. These volunteers included art therapists, art teachers, translators, a professional photographer and many more. The workshops went on for six months. The Holladay Arts Council is teaching artistic skills, building confidence and identifying talented artists whom they can pair with mentors to further develop their art through a program entitled “Healing Through Art.” This program gives refugees living in Utah a chance to tell their stories through art. Refugees receive one-on-one mentoring with local artists at a series of workshops. Therapists are on hand to hear and record their stories, wishes and dreams.

bhutanese community art and bios as the chase home through august 2016

Community Art and Bios at the Chase Home

On June 4, in conjunction with World Refugee Day, a sampling of the artists’ work was displayed at the Chase Home in Liberty Park. This was a great day. Many volunteers where able to witness the artists showing their friends and family their artwork. For many of the refugees, this was the first time -- in America -- they publicly shared their creations. It was very heartwarming. These artworks will be on display through August 2016.

world refugee day

Hear Stories, Build Relationships

On June 18, the Holladay Arts Council will hold a free reception at the Holladay City Hall from 6:00 – 9:00 PM. It is for the artists, the public, and the media (translators will be on hand). We hope this initiates a dialogue to build a stronger, integrated community. Along with their art and biographies there will be music and dancing from three of the refugee communities -- as well as refreshments. This will be a time to enjoy and celebrate the many cultures that make up our community.

bhutanese artists and craig fisher the event chair and arts council chair

Looking Forward

The arts council is making plans include other art councils to help expand and continue the reach again next year. It has been an amazing journey and one we couldn’t have done without the vision, love for and countless hours donated to the Holladay Arts Council by Craig Fisher. After starting the project, he also became the Holladay Arts Council Chair. It has been so amazing to watch his selflessness flow through our council, city and the other programs who have helped along the way.  

-Margo Richards, Holladay Arts, Arts Council Coordinator