FAIRHOPE, AL – The Eastern Shore Art Center is pleased to announce the award of $11,000 from Wind Creek Hospitality in support of its Outreach Program. For more than two decades, the “Art Without Limits” program has served those in our community who may not otherwise have exposure to art, including children, the deaf and blind, those with chronic illnesses or disabilities, veterans and senior citizens.
Bryant Whelan, Executive Director of the Art Center, said the funding could not have come at a better time, as the Art Center begins to plan virtual art field trips to reach vulnerable populations during the pandemic. “Right now, the people who need the healing power of art the most are the ones that we can no longer visit. The grant funding from Wind Creek Hospitality will support the creation of virtual programs and classes that can be offered to these populations in isolation, without physical contact. These field trips will also be offered for teachers as well as homeschooled students,” said Whelan. “The Outreach Program historically has served nearly 3,000 children and adults in the community each year. In 2020, social distancing restrictions have significantly reduced our impact. This grant will enable us to reinvigorate our outreach with new ways to engage with art.” Whelan said that closure and cancellations of programing due to the pandemic resulted in a loss of over one third of the center’s operating income in 2020. The losses have necessitated that recent grant awards be allocated to facility maintenance, staff payroll and disaster mitigation after Hurricane Sally. “It’s so rewarding to be granted funding to be used directly for some of our most important programming,” said Whelan.
Danielle Sanspree, Public Relations Supervisor for Wind Creek Hospitality, said that this is the second year the Wind Creek provided funding for the Outreach Program. “Serving children with the healing power of art through the ESAC Outreach Program aligns perfectly with our community service mission,” said Sanspree. “We are honored to support the Art Center in developing ways to continue this important programming while following health and safety guidelines during the pandemic,” she said.