According to Art House Dallas Executive Director Marissa Delcambre,
In times of great uncertainty, our truest values rise to the top. Since the coronavirus pandemic stretched into our community, I’ve been reminded of two such values—togetherness and hope. As the executive director of Art House Dallas, these two tenets have been on my mind as we navigate the shifting path forward.
Art House Dallas provides artist care, community, and development for all individuals seeking to lead creative lives so that they might be a force of good in their immediate and greater communities. We believe that beauty shown through arts, culture, and creation holds a powerful ability to infuse hope and preserve connections between people.
One singer-songwriter within the community, Nicholas Engstrom stated, “Working as a pediatric nurse on the COVID unit at my hospital, my life was profoundly changed in March. Much of the spring was spent feeling uncentered and uncertain. So when Art House Dallas offered the chance to meet online, I realized I didn’t just have a desire to be involved—I needed to be. My community at Art House Dallas reminds me that while I am a healthcare worker I am also an artist and I have creative things to offer. Inasmuch as I can change a life while I’m serving at the [hospital] bedside, I can change others with the music I make.”
Since March, we have continued to provide programming for people like Nicholas by hosting over 25 online gatherings. In addition, we responded to the COVID crisis by launching an Artist Care Fund supporting artists directly with micro-grants. Simone Nicole, a local musician in the AHD community shared how the grant impacted her, “Because of that grant, I was able to stay in my apartment another month.”
Like many of us, artists in our community are looking for ways to give back. Through the Deploy program, which provides arts resources in historically under-resourced parts of the city, we distributed 150 Art Adventure Kits to kids stuck at home. Each kit included TEKS guided curriculum and projects, instruction videos taught by local Art House Dallas artists, and a shelf-stable snack.
The financial support we receive through North Texas Giving Day enables us to continue providing community-building events encouraging, connecting, and inspiring artists to invest in local communities. With your support, we can provide programming to artists like Angela Pitts, a visual artist based in McKinney, who worked to create instructional videos for the kids who received the Art Adventure Kits. “The fact that they pivoted to online so quickly was so meaningful to know that people care about what we are doing, how we are coping, and how we are expressing the range of emotions involved in a crisis like this.”
We all as creators—patrons and artists—have something to contribute. Together we build a community that both recognizes the power of beauty and the capacity for transformation that beauty brings. In a world that shifts daily, our mission remains the same. Join us as we spur on artists and inspire the imagination of the next generation.
* Graphic and photo provided by Art House Dallas ** Photo credit: Nicholas Lietzinger
In 11 years, Communities Foundation of Texas’ North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $290 million into the North Texas community. In 2019, more than $50 million was raised through more than 169,000 gifts benefiting over 2,988 area nonprofits.