This year, we’re launching a monthly #SuperStaff feature. Our team works tirelessly to improve children’s lives through arts education, but they also volunteer their time and talents to furthering the missions of other amazing organizations. This January, check out Communications Associate Jacob Campbell’s work with the Young Creatives Society, a new initiative of Arts & Services for Disabled, Inc.
By Communications Associate Jacob Campbell
P.S. ARTS’ mission to improve the lives of children through arts education is near and dear to my heart, and (as I’m sure many nonprofit professionals will agree) having a deep connection with your organization’s mission is what pushes you through challenges and amplifies successes. Equally as important (and often harder to find) is balance; taking time to connect personally with people and causes outside of your day-to-day work helps paint a broader picture of your role in creating positive change.
I live in Long Beach, and my commute to and from Venice often makes it hard to feel connected to my own community. Recently, I came across an event on social media hosted by the Young Creatives Society, and it seemed like exactly what I was looking for — part networking, part creative community building.
I walked into the Arts & Services for Disabled, Inc. (ASD) headquarters (right across the street from my college apartment — who knew!) and was immediately greeted with smiling faces, a cheese platter, and red wine. These are my people.
I began introducing myself to the artsy folks in the room, and I quickly learned a lot about ASD from Founder and CEO Helen Dolas. For nearly 30 years, ASD has been providing lifelong learning, community service, and vocational opportunities through the creative arts for people of all ages with disabilities. Their core value of inclusion and their motto Love Before Learning really resonated with me and set the stage for an engaging evening of conversation while painting and playing REMO drums.
Later, I spoke with ASD Director of Development Megan Hanks who told me the Young Creatives Society was created to “work towards organizational sustainability by building a core volunteer base” and that her team “recognized the potential of young supporters and wanted to offer them a new way to connect with like-minded peers, collaborate, and give back to the community.”
I’m a firm believer (with a fair amount of social anxiety) that the easiest way to make connections with people is through the creative process. It can be hard to put yourself out there, but learning a group dance, drumming in a circle, or even just sharing a tray of paint is a great way to break the ice! I’m so glad that I stumbled upon this new initiative, and I’m looking forward to getting more involved with the Young Creatives Society.
Interested in joining the Young Creatives Society? Follow them for updates on their next event!