Thunderbirds Charities has awarded a $25,000 grant to support free creative and therapeutic arts programs for children ages 3 to 21, who have faced neglect and homelessness. The funds will be used to expand Free Arts core programs: the Weekly Mentor Program, the Professional Artist Series, Free Arts Days and the Camp Series. It will also support program staff who will recruit and train volunteer mentors in order to serve partner agencies and the children under their care.
“We’re so grateful for Thunderbirds Charities on-going support of our programs,” said Alicia Sutton Campbell, executive director for Free Arts. “They have consistently supported our programs for children who have experienced the trauma of abuse, homelessness, and neglect over the years. We currently serve approximately 8,000 children and hope to expand that number with the help of Thunderbirds Charities!”
The Weekly Mentor Program matches volunteer mentors with groups of children living in social service agencies for one-hour weekly art sessions for up to 16 weeks. In the Professional Artist Series, groups of children work with an artist and volunteer mentors in a workshop series that culminates in a performance or exhibition. Free Arts Days offer concentrated artistic experiences during a single day that introduce children to a variety of forms of artistic expression at arts and cultural organizations. The Free Arts Camp Series brings children from different facilities together for day camps that last one week each, during five weeks each year, to explore various art forms.
“Free Arts will be able to serve more children who have experienced trauma,” said Chance Cozby, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “Thunderbirds Charities is proud to support the expansion of their therapeutic arts programs.”
Founded in 1993, Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona is a non-profit organization which transforms children’s trauma to resilience through the arts. Free Arts programs include creative elements that promote safety, self-expression and a sense of belonging. Free Arts programs are delivered by 900 volunteer mentors and artists who serve more than 7,000 children annually through partnerships over 40 social service child welfare agencies at 100+ sites across Maricopa County. For more information on Free Arts, visit: www.freeartsaz.org.
ABOUT THUNDERBIRDS CHARITIES is a non-profit organization formed in 1986 to distribute monies raised through the Waste Management Phoenix. The Thunderbirds Charities Board consists of 15 board members from varying professional backgrounds. The mission of Thunderbirds Charities is to assist children and families, help people in need and improve the quality of life in our communities. The organization’s giving is directed toward organizations based or with a significant presence in Arizona. The Thunderbirds were founded in 1937 with the mission of promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports. The Thunderbirds consist of 55 “active” members and more than 285 “life” members. For more information on the Thunderbirds or the 2021 Waste Management Phoenix Open, visit www.wmphoenixopen.com. For more information on the Thunderbirds Charities, visit www.thunderbirdscharities.org.