I am always on the lookout for new ideas and ways to approach learning for both adults and kids. Perhaps it’s the mom in me thinking about my son learning as he gets older and looking for things that can be creative outlets for him. A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of meeting with Sarah Crisp from Awakening Minds Art in Findlay, Ohio to learn about her organization and everything she offers. It was fascinating to learn about the programs, about art classes in Findlay and surrounding areas, and hear what began her inspiration.
What is Awakening Minds Art?
Sarah had the thought to begin what is now Awakening Minds a little over five years ago. The non-profit organization offers opportunities for all ages and abilities for both therapeutic and educational purposes. Sarah shared with me that they work with everyone from small children to elderly adults in assisted living facilities. What I enjoyed learning about Awakening Minds is that most of the programs are centered around art, but that those who go through the programs do more than just create artistic pieces for their home; each session is an entire experience that capitalizes on a series of skills specific to each participant. This can be everything from focus and attention span to counting and socialization to having a sense of accomplishment.
The Beginning of a Journey
Sarah’s inspiration for AMA derived from her compassion and understanding of the brain and behaviors to create a way for adults and children to express themselves through art in a fun and rewarding way. When her fiance’s son was introduced to her life, he also became a great inspiration to launching her vision. “I instantly felt the urge to provide for my family in more ways than one,” Sarah said. “I needed to be able to spread my wings and use my passion for something that would genuinely make people happy.” When asked what she enjoyed most about her job, Sarah said, “It’s different everyday! There’s always something that melts my heart and let’s me know I’m doing something right!”
Types of Classes Offered
Depending on a child or adult’s needs, a variety of different classes are offered and can be done one-on-one or as a group. For one-on-one sessions, painting, sculpture, jewelry making and crafts are offered, just to name a few. Two other classes available to students one-on-one is stretching and yoga which can be great for experiencing a calm environment and learning about balance.
For group sessions, art classes such as painting, sculpture, jewelry and crafts are offered and allow individuals to build their teamwork skills. These classes also encourage students to follow directions and socialize. Power yoga is offered as a group class as well and is mainly for those with prior yoga experience.
Though many classes are offered at the Awakening Minds Art studio located in Findlay, OH, there are several that are offered off-site all throughout Northwest Ohio. One of the largest parts of AMA programming is traveling to nursing homes and facilities to work with the elderly population.
Paint & Partake – Adult art classes in Findlay and beyond
Something AMA offers every first Friday and third Thursday of the month in Findlay is a program called Paint & Partake. It’s a fun night of wine, appetizers and art! Deemed as one of the main fundraisers to keep AMA going, it’s a fun time for everyone. Registration is required as spots are limited, and classes are from 6:30-8 p.m. Paint & Partake is also offered in other nearby cities and towns including Lima, Gilboa and Kalida. Be sure to check the AMA website for a schedule of specific times and dates.
Awakening Minds Art Staff and Studio
Awakening Minds staff are trained and educated to work with special needs children and adults. One feature that AMA has in their studio that can be used by special need students is a sensory station. It allows families to get ideas on how to build one affordably in their own home and includes items such as weighted blankets, light-up toys, sensory balls and items meant for grabbing or chewing. Most of the items in the sensory station are sold at Awakening Minds so you can get started building your own right away!
In the last five years, Awakening Minds has grown by leaps and bounds and has been featured as the “#1 Art Class in Findlay, Ohio” voted on by Findlay Area Family readers and won the “Go Local” Small Business Champion of the Year award by the Hancock County Chamber of Commerce.
To find out more about Awakening Minds Art, visit their website: http://www.awakeningmindsart.org/
Like the images you see here? Be sure to check out my galleries of families and children to get a sense of my photography style and to see if you’d like me to capture priceless memories of your little one!