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Director’s Note | Year End Letter

December 2014

Dear Friend of Creative Growth,

Do you remember the first time you walked into Creative Growth?

For me, it was a moment of wonderment at the extraordinary creative activity I was witnessing. I immediately wanted to play a part. I felt there was an opportunity to learn something important about life, and to make a real difference.

It is your understanding and appreciation of Creative Growth’s vision and your generous support through the years that have elevated the achievements of our artists with disabilities to new heights.

Through art, a groundbreaking dialogue between people with disabilities and the wider community is now taking place – and it could not have happened without you.

With each year, our accomplishments grow. This past year:

  • We expanded our studio space to include a new private workroom for our artists who are most independent and those who require more privacy and quiet while working.
  • We began a program that allows individual artists the opportunity to fully curate an exhibition of their own work in tandem with our regular gallery exhibitions.
  • Judith Scott became our third artist to have work acquired by the permanent collection of New York’s MOMA, and a retrospective of her eighteen years of sculpture making opened at the Brooklyn Museum.

As a sign of how much the landscape has changed for artists with disabilities since Creative Growth began, Judith’s solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum is being shown in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art. Judith is being recognized for her rightful place among the significant female contemporary artists of our time, without regard for her disability.

This is an extraordinary achievement, and one that would not have been possible without ongoing community support.

I recently observed an artist who was considering attending our program as he walked into our studio space for the first time. His eyes widened, and he wasn’t able to stop himself from smiling. This was the moment that he discovered Creative Growth. I was so proud that our generous donors allowed for this moment to happen, that together we could provide this place for him.

But many challenges remain. Today, I am asking for you to contribute to our work, and to the vision we all share.

Our goals for next year include:

  • Furthering our service to young people with disabilities by expanding the capacity of our Saturday Youth Art Program
  • Bringing our artists’ work to new markets, including the Tokyo Contemporary Art Fair
  • Finalizing the acquisition of our last 100 safe and sturdy new studio chairs for all of our artists through a matching gift offer from a generous donor
  • Increasing the quantity and diversity of art supplies we provide in our studio, including more large-scale canvasses
  • Hosting visitors from Iceland, Australia and Italy who want to learn about our model program so they can bring it home to help people with disabilities in their own countries
  • Despite the importance of these items for our people and programs, we simply cannot afford them without additional revenue. I hope you’ll be able to help.

Please take a moment now to make a year-end gift. Your support makes a big difference to our artists.

If you’re not sure what your gift will do or how it will impact our people, please call me directly at 510-836-2340 ext. 13 or email me at tom@creativegrowth.org, so that I may answer your questions and share how important and impactful your support will be.

You are a critical member of the community that makes Creative Growth possible. We simply could not continue and reach our further goals without your help.

Thank you for sharing and supporting our vision.

Best Wishes,

Tom di Maria

P.S. Make a year-end tax deductible gift of $250 or more and you’ll receive Arts & Eats, our exciting new collaborative art and cookbook project with recipes from 25 top Oakland restaurants.

And remember, you can shop in our gallery each Saturday in December until Christmas from 10am to 3pm!