Our artisan program currently provides social opportunity, a source of income, motor and cognitive skill enhancement, and a deep sense of accomplishment for 35 blind, visually impaired, and/or senior artisans.
Multiple, recent medical studies have shown that social isolation is a physical and mental health risk for aging populations and adults with disabilities. The Census Bureau estimates that 15% of Hartford County residents are over the age of 60. Of those, 30% live alone. As large generations continue to age, this trend is slated to increase. The rate of living alone increases with age, especially among women.
Some of our artisans have been excluded from the workforce, and isolated due to lifelong disability, changes in health, or age. This has limited their earning potential, and opportunities for creativity, socialization, and accomplishment. Surveys have shown that our artisans value the social and creative aspects of the program equally.
Our diverse community unites people from different backgrounds and experiences to learn from each other, and uncover their own unique skills. We challenge assumptions about disabilities and aging, and show that everyone deserves a chance for creative expression.
Weaving is a multi-step craft that requires focus and precise movements, and rewards weavers with an accomplishment they can feel, and share with others. There are endless weave structure, color, and fiber combinations, so artisans are gently challenged to learn something new every day.
The Artisan Weaving Program
become an artisan
If you are legally blind, or 55+ years old, you meet the requirements to be a weaving Artisan. No experience with weaving is necessary. For $5 dues per month, Artisans are provided a loom to use, all the materials needed for weaving, and ongoing one-on-one instruction from our skilled teacher, studio manager and experienced volunteer weavers. Artisans set their own hours and days, but are expected to spend 1 or 2 days at the Center every week.
After just a few months, most new artisans are able to weave beautiful handwoven items, including our signature scarves. They become part of a creative and accepting community. The Artisan program is largely driven by individual donations. Your contribution will support our weavers and help us reach more people. Donations of any amount help us continue to use an ancient craft for modern good.There are many ways to donate. Click here to learn how.