Three and a half years ago, Alpha staff wanted to give clients a creative and fun activity to do each week, called Art Club, but where to have it?
Laura Hoag, a Direct Support Professional at Alpha, found the perfect place! She found Blu Café, a coffee shop willing to donate space in the back of the New Hope Church, in Shoreline. Blu Café is a warm and comfortable indoor coffee shop serving espresso, Italian sodas and most other fun coffee drinks. Along with the wonderful church volunteer baristas and free Wi-Fi it is a great place to hang out. Most often we enjoy the drink styling of Steve. Craig Eidsmoe talked with New Hope ministries; they were very supportive, and agreed to let us use a good chunk of their tables, at no cost, for Art club.
Art Club now had the perfect place to meet! Venus Gibbs and Nephtali Stackhouse, Program Supervisors for Alpha, started the club, Tuesday afternoons from 3:30- 4:30ish. We started out with 3-4 houses attending Art Club and helping collect art supplies. Now, 3 years later, we have 9 houses from Alpha attending and have extended the invitation to another agency, which has some ladies who attend when they can.
Art Club brings out the kid in everyone. Everyone is happy to take home their art projects and show them off. Favorite projects have been paper bag puppets, colored masks, and art coloring contests. Of course food-based crafts are always fun and are usually gone before they make it home. Sometimes it seems the staff have more fun than the clients, proudly showing off their projects as well. Typically after starting everyone on the week’s project, we take orders for their coffee, cocoa or Italian soda and Steve gets busy making the yummy treats. When clients finish their projects, have enjoyed their treat, and visited with everyone, we clean up and make a donation to the café for the drinks and go home until next week. Over the years we have enjoyed having parties for different holidays and birthdays at the café. In fact we just had a St. Patrick’s Day party, and Nate is having his birthday party at the café again this year. We all enjoy Art Club and are so happy to partner with New Hope to continue this fun club. We hope to be going strong for many more years to come.