According to Lighthouse for the Blind of Fort Worth Communications Content Creator Curtis Rhodes,
“Art is all around us! As a person who can see, I know that there are times I take for granted the ability to appreciate the beauty of a painting or sculpture or other work of visual art simply by looking at it. Unfortunately, there is a large portion of our population that is unable to do just that because they are blind or visually impaired.
“At Lighthouse for the Blind of Fort Worth, we recently embarked on a big project that seeks to not only beautify our Near Southside Fort Worth neighborhood, but to also bring a bit of art-focused equity to blind and visually impaired individuals. The Lighthouse, working with Fort Worth muralist Kristen Soble, has installed a blind-accessible interactive mural entitled ‘Where Independence Begins’ on one of our large exterior walls. Art for all! Using tactile elements, along with audio devices, and braille messages installed along stainless steel railings, the colorful 2,000 square foot mural will be used in our Orientation and Mobility training and has begun to make a splash in our neighborhood as it nears completion.
“With such positive community reactions, we have decided to expand this project to three other walls of our 80,000-square-foot building. This new phase of the project will brighten and refresh the neighborhood, helping to raise the Lighthouse’s profile and further educate the public on the services we provide. The new murals will once again be inclusively designed so that they can be enjoyed by everyone and will celebrate the Lighthouse’s history in the City of Fort Worth.
“Our mission at the Lighthouse is to empower individuals who are blind or visually impaired to live their highest level of independence. We fulfill that mission in a couple of ways; through our Client Services – which provides community outreach to those in need of our services, such as Orientation and Mobility training, Assistive Technology evaluations, and Independent Living skills – and through competitive employment opportunities in our manufacturing facility. Our hope is that these pieces of blind accessible art will better inform the community what we do, and will help raise our profile as an organization dedicated to the empowerment of people who are blind and visually impaired.
“We are happy to once again participate in North Texas Giving Day and are grateful to all of the donors who are so willing to help improve North Texas through their generous contributions. You can learn more about Lighthouse for the Blind of Fort Worth by visiting our website at www.lighthousefw.org. To see more photos of the mural, as well as to learn more about the project, visit www.whereindependencebeings.org.”
* Photo credit: Curtis Rhodes ** Photo credit: Jared Lindsay *** Graphic provided by Lighthouse For the Blind of Fort Worth
Communities Foundation of Texas’ North Texas Giving Day helps build awareness and support for nonprofits like nothing else. In 2021, $66 million was raised through 103,000 donors benefiting over 3,300 local nonprofits, bringing the 13-year total to over $441 million for our community. NTx Giving Day is the largest community-wide giving event in the nation.