Bath mobile arts therapy program nets $30K in grants

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BATH — ArtVan, a mobile arts therapy program offering programming in several communities, recently received three grants totalling $30,000.

The program, which serves people of all ages, received $10,000 each from the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, the Kay E. Dopp Fund of the Maine Community Foundation, and the Quimby Family Foundation, according to an Aug. 11 press release.

ArtVan, founded in 2004, has core neighborhoods in Bath, Brunswick, Lewiston and Auburn, and visits those communities year-round to provide free art therapy workshops to people of low income. The Bath-based program also works in Biddeford during the summer.

The Maine Community Foundation grant will pay for a new operations and development director.

“This new director will devote time to financial management, fundraising, strategy and public relations for the organization, which will be important for organizational development,” ArtVan founder and Executive Director Jamie Silvestri said in the press release.

The Quimby Family Foundation grant, the second received by ArtVan since 2012, goes toward supporting programming in the organization’s core neighborhoods, and a new artist apprenticeship program.

The Elmina B. Sewall grant, which the organization received once before, will also pay for neighborhood programming, and support ArtVan’s capacity-building initiatives.

“Through the capacity-building portion of the grant, we intend to strategize how to amplify our impact through strengthening our services and operations with this money,” Silvestri said.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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The distinctive ArtVan van brings arts therapy programs to several communities.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.