Path with Art transforms programming with grant funding

When the pandemic hit, and society as we knew it, had to change, Path with Art had to adapt to continue their mission. The nonprofit group fosters the restoration of the effects of trauma through arts engagement. They use dance, painting, theater, poetry, and others forms of art to overcome trauma, substance abuse, isolation and other mental health issues. They used their Technology Matching Fund grant to improve their technology impact and adapt to a virtual format to continue their services. 

Their self-named COVID pilot included the purchase of new tablets, a massive increase of online tech support including drop-in classes and one-on-one help. They enabled hotspots and improved outreach to unhoused populations. 

someone painting
Path with Art participant

“Covid required us to change a lot, specifically digitally. Before this, our classes were in person. The museums that they visit were in person. Everything changed with Covid. And we did this quickly, and we learned while we were doing it,” said J.J. Stein.  

During the initial social distancing phase of the pandemic, Path with Art was able to use improved technology to help participants become more connected to the world and learn new computer skills. They also enhanced their curriculum to include graphic photography, podcasts, music, and accessibility.  

“I was isolated and alone with severe health issues even before COVID. I didn’t have community or family or friends. It is challenging to even leave my apartment. Path with Art feels like a supportive community for veterans. I hope they continue virtual programming after COVID. It has opened up my world,” ​said Michelle, a participant​. 

Paint with Art Logo
Path with Art Logo

“The participants report that they are developing new skills; they feel more connected to community; they have increased confidence, self-esteem and self-expression. And then, also, these classes and programming helps someone’s path to recovery,” said Emily Shallman.  

Through their transformation to a virtual platform, Path with Art has been able to serve 700 people. That’s an increase in participation. They hope to adapt to hybrid programming as the area returns to normal. The found, ultimately, their participants benefit from virtual and in-person support to overcome their challenges.  

Path with Art received a Technology Matching Fund in 2021. They encourage those interested in their program to consider volunteering. Contact Emily Shallman for more information.