Dancing In The New Year

Hello all – Dani here!

I am so excited to announce some big news for ABC:
After careful consideration, we have decided to pilot a new curriculum for dance and creative movement at a brand new ABC branch! We are so thankful for recent Messiah College graduates Chloe Stokes and Moriah Hough, who volunteered their time to design a new curriculum, and for our newest volunteer, Charis Kamon, who will be assisting them at Hoffman Homes for Youth in Gettysburg starting in the new year.

Dance, just as visual art, has a bounty of benefits for children who are facing unique challenges. We are thrilled to give this new 10-week pilot program a chance to shine and see how the participants are able to learn and grow through this powerful form of art.

Our mission applies just the same to this location as all of our others – providing a safe space for imaginative freedom, creative play, and exploration in DANCE for children (ages 3-21) in limiting situations. If the pilot is seen as successful, our branch at Hoffman Homes will ideally become a sustainable location for dance programming!

Incorporating other disciplines of art into ABC was always a dream of mine and it is truly inspiring to see it coming to life!

We are so thankful for your continued support over all of 2017. I personally would like to wish you and your family and friends a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Many Blessings,
-D.

Fundraising

As we are entering the 2017-2018 volunteering year exciting things are happening! Our Penn State Hershey Hospital continues to welcome our volunteers. In the coming months we have possibly three more locations. However, in order to provide our services we need donations.

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We have been so blessed to receive donations from businesses in the past. Shout-out to BLICK for their recent donation! At ABC we distinguish ourselves from other services because we use fine art supplies when working with children. Art is a place for children play, which happens when they have art supplies to do this with, and not just a  prescribed craft. If you or your business would like to support ABC by donating fine art supplies or a gift card please contact Lindsey at support@artbeyondtheclassroom.com.

If you would like to support ABC through a monetary amount please check out our Go Fund Me page here. Already, we have had several generous donations, and we are so thankful to have a support team behind us and our mission!

Farther Along…

When I (Katy) came to college, I found a beautiful song that described all my fears about college, but directed me back to God. The chorus of “Farther Along” goes “Farther along we’ll know all about it / Farther along we’ll understand why / Cheer up my brothers we will live in the sunshine” (Josh Garrels). Garrels directs us to look towards the Father for guidance and reasons for why something happens. Even though we did not win Impact Venture Challenge this past weekend, we are so excited for the next steps that are in store for us. Farther along we will understand the plan in store for ABC, and in the meantime we took some time to reflect together.

This morning we had an impromptu ABC breakfast picnic. Surprisingly, it was cold and we were in cardigans and hoodies! Nonetheless, it is was so good to wind down together with all the girls and reflect on some of our favorite memories from the past year. Some memories included ABC, some how they had grown this year, and also some about solidifying calling and vocation. I am truly thankful for the beautiful community ABC has become, and I am excited to see what is in our future.

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Thank you again to everyone who has supported us during Impact Venture Challenge! If you are interested in supporting us more please contact us at artbeyondtheclassroom@gmail.com . We currently are accepting monetary and art supply donations.

THRIVE: What’s Next

If you have been following us for a while, you probably are aware that last night was the Impact Venture Challenge Finale. Unfortunately, we did not place in the top 3 in the event; therefore we did not receive funding for ABC. For about 30 seconds late last night (after contemplating anything I [Dani] could have/should have done differently… picturing over and over again the anticipation building backstage as we awaited the announcement of the winners) I questioned whether or not what we did was really all that important. “If we weren’t “good enough” to win a competition within the “Messiah bubble,” are we really going to make an impact outside of it?”

But then, those 30 seconds of pointless doubt ended.

Matthew 14:31-21 comforted me the night before the finale of Impact Venture Challenge and comforts me more still this morning:

13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns.14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”

16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

18 Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Five loaves for thousands of people?! That’s practically a breadcrumb per person.

And they were satisfied. I’d say satisfaction x 5,000 (men, not to mention women and children) = a thriving community!

Disclaimer: I am not a biblical scholar or a mathematics wiz, but I felt a connection to this passage like never before over the past 48 hours.

The question people immediately began asking me (and I’m sure they asked other Leadership Team members, as well) is what now—what comes next? How do we bounce back?

Now, we THRIVE on the breadcrumbs that will satisfy our programs hungers. This initiative will include expanding our donation base, continuing to be extremely resourceful, educating our volunteers through student-lead workshops, and more!

As far as this very moment, we want to pause and say THANK YOU for your continued support of our program. Please stay tuned for more practical details about our future.

Don’t worry—we aren’t going anywhere. There are more kids than we can count that are eager to express themselves and we are determined to cultivate their imagination and embolden their voice!