Generosity saved WHAM’s traveling arts studio

By Connie Whitlock
Posted 6/2/20

On April 5, WHAM’s Traveling Art Studio, which is used to take art to the communities of the West Valley, was stolen.

To Our Valued Readers –

Visitors to our website will be limited to five stories per month unless they opt to subscribe.

For $5.99, less than 20 cents a day, subscribers will receive unlimited access to the website, including access to our Daily Independent e-edition, which features Arizona-specific journalism and items you can’t find in our community print products, such as weather reports, comics, crossword puzzles, advice columns and so much more six days a week.

Our commitment to balanced, fair reporting and local coverage provides insight and perspective not found anywhere else.

Your financial commitment will help to preserve the kind of honest journalism produced by our reporters and editors. We trust you agree that independent journalism is an essential component of our democracy. Please click here to subscribe.

Sincerely,
Charlene Bisson, Publisher, Independent Newsmedia

Please log in to continue

Log in
I am anchor

Generosity saved WHAM’s traveling arts studio

The WHAM mobile arts studio was stolen in from the arts organization’s Surprise headquarters in April; but individual donations and financial support from other local nonprofit agencies provided the funding to replace what was taken. [Submitted photo/WHAM]
The WHAM mobile arts studio was stolen in from the arts organization’s Surprise headquarters in April; but individual donations and financial support from other local nonprofit agencies provided the funding to replace what was taken. [Submitted photo/WHAM]
Posted

On April 5, WHAM’s Traveling Art Studio, which is used to take art to the communities of the West Valley, was stolen.

While that was a huge disappointment, we put together a GoFundMe on April 12th with a goal of raising $6,000 and within a couple days, donations started coming in to help replace our trailer and to support our program that has reached so many children over the past 4 years.

Our traveling art studio, which we call WHAM on Wheels, promotes the arts through participating in city events. Our trailer carries tables which are placed out in a horseshoe configuration allowing for 30 children at a time to sit and make an art activity for free that they can take with them.

During one event, WHAM is able to serve 200 to 300 children depending on the time allotted.

These free art activities are something special for many children who can’t afford to travel to our art center to get the experience.

WHAM has been doing events in Surprise, Peoria, El Mirage, Glendale, Avondale, Goodyear and Buckeye and reached an estimated 15,000 kids over the past 4 years.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, several of our scheduled events were canceled this past spring. We are optimistic that the events will open up again in the near future and we will again be taking art to the parks and festivals.

During our GoFundMe campaign, we not only reached our goal through online and private checks, but we exceeded it with some matching funds. The funds will be used to purchase a new enclosed trailer with security locks on the wheels, install lighting on the trailer and outside WHAM for security, replace the equipment that was in trailer, and purchase needed art supplies as well.

“For Those Without a Voice” is an service organization based in Glendale, which gets things done with urgency to reverse the misfortunes of children and animals. Their director, Shari Miller, reached out to WHAM to say they would match up to $5,000 to help our WHAM on WHEELS program. We are so thankful to their foundation.

Another organization we received generous support from was the Gyder Family Fund, who is a supporter of many arts organizations in the West Valley. As well as so many individuals in our community who sent donations to WHAM through the mail to support our efforts to keep this popular and much-needed art resource in the West Valley.

We are blessed to have such wonderful supporters during this time when people are out of work and worried about the COVID-19 Pandemic.

I also want to thank Independent Newsmedia — including Matt Roy at the Daily Independent and Jason Stone at the Surprise Independent — who have given WHAM wonderful news coverage over the past years to help get our stories to the public.

Thank you all.

Connie Whitlock is executive director at WHAM. Visit wham-art.org.

WHAM, Whitlock, arts

Comments