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August 2011
A Port in the Storm - a special program supporting juvenile justice


"The day I fell"

-this is prison slang for "The day I was arrested"

Being arrested is a very bad fall for a child between the ages of 10 -17 in Fort Bend County. And once a child falls, the question remains:

Can this child stand up?


In Fort Bend County, a child who is arrested is taken to the Fort Bend County Juvenile Detention Center in Richmond, Texas. Here you will discover many people involved in our Juvenile Justice system that are paying attention to this question and working with the community to reach out and help children stand up after they fall. Detention is considered punishment -  can we as a society also consider their time in the "lock up" as educational, inspirational, and motivating? Juvenile Detention is not supposed to be a child's training program for adult incarceration. In Fort Bend County, the JDC is often a fallen child's safest place to land. Like a port in the storm, time here can be well spent.


n. pl. Port - 

A port where ships dock in the course of voyages to load or unload cargo, obtain supplies, or undergo repairs.


A child's life and future can turn on a dime. If they survive the storm, they can recognize the obstacles in their path, they can change course. During the time a child is in a juvenile detention center, it is important they meet positive people, and are introduced to new opportunities to discover something great and positive about their lives and their futures. They need to be inspired to change course. How does a child learn that they have the power to create their future? How can they be shown they have control, and can blaze a trail that leads to their successful future in our society today?


The Fort Bend County JDC is bringing unique, innovative and eye opening programs to our children at highest risk of failing in our society. And the special programs at Fort Bend JDC are turning lives around and helping the children who fall, to get up - stronger and better prepared to face life's challenges.


Click here to read more about this special ARTreach program that taught photography and songwriting at the Fort Bend Juvenile Detention Center  


Partners in Outreach 

ARTreach, Catholic Charities and the Mamie George Community Center

The Cardinal's Christmas
The Cardinal's Christmas


The 26,000 square foot Catholic Charities' Mamie George Community Center is located at 1111 Collins Road in Richmond, Texas. The Center is a hub for Catholic Charities services in Fort Bend County and provides much needed programs and services, with an emphasis on low-income residents and seniors.


Catholic Charities is partnering with ARTreach to help bring the arts to seniors in Fort Bend County. The ARTreach Program at the Mamie George Community Center is unique. Since the center opened in January 2011, ARTreach has been developing this program to assist Catholic Charities in creatively serving the growing number of seniors. The ARTreach program runs weekly and offers a variety of arts and crafts with music, painting and ceramics and invites an intergeneration mix of volunteers and friends to come every Thursday from 10:00-11:30 to enjoy the free classes. 


Click here to learn more about the program's focus and the upcoming Coffee time event- Espresso Yourself at Mamie George!


To beat the heat this summer the seniors and volunteers at Mamie George Community Center had a cool time painting designs for the Cardinal's Christmas Invitation.  Watch the video above, The Cardinal's Christmas, it shows off the entire collection of Holiday designs made by the Mamie George Artists and children at the Rio Bend Foster Care Community!


Volunteering is a work of heART! 

Volunteers, professional artists and musicians are invited to join ARTreach in a community service campaign to reach out and improve education and the lives of others through music, dance and art! 


In Texas, the need for quality arts education is indisputable, but the arts remain underfunded by the state, and are expensive for districts and parents to sustain on their own. As it is, the arts and a quality arts education remain largely inaccessible to children and families living in the low to below medium income range.


ARTreach is a community non-profit that exists to address the issues of inaccessibility related to the arts. The organization and its volunteers work diligently to support the financial shortfall by recruiting and training professional artists and creative teachers for numerous ARTreach Programs supporting education, and health and welfare services supporting children and adults in need.


Visit the website, and you will see that ARTreach (www.artreachonline.org) features a growing roster of professional artists, photographers and musicians who are making a difference in the lives of others by mentoring, teaching and performing in ARTreach Programs serving children at risk, the elderly and disabled. ARTreach seeks private funding through grants and donations to offset the costs of supplies and fees for professional artists and teachers offering quality fine arts programs. ARTreach makes the arts affordable and free through social service agencies and school districts serving low income and at risk populations.  


ARTreach Volunteers are making a difference by supporting necessary fundraising, and by the presentation of workshops and performances in schools, senior centers, medical care centers, hospitals, youth shelters, family crisis centers, detention and rehabilitation centers in Harris, Fort Bend and surrounding counties.


ARTreach is small non-profit doing big work, thanks to successful partnerships, creative and talented volunteers and amazing artists!


Click here for the list of our Fort Bend County volunteers of the month

This Friday at Good to Go from 6-8PM, Katy Culture and Arts Alliance is hosting an ARTreach reception for Christ Clinic and their clients and families who participated in the ARTreach workshop "Diabetes Awareness and Nutrition" this summer.
ARTreach Diabetes Awareness and Nutrition
ARTreach Diabetes Awareness and Nutrition
This educational workshop received funding from Texas Commission on the Arts and supported the A&M AgriLife Extension Program- Be Well, Do Well and the Texas PTA Healthy Lifestyle initiative.  
The public is invited to the reception and opening os "As Worlds Juxtapose". See invitation below!
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In This Issue
Partners in Outreach
Special Needs

Within My Reach!


ARTreach is developing new programs this year for transitioning students with special needs


These art programs are individually developed to support children and adults with special needs. Students with Down's Syndrome, autism, or other developmental, intellectual or physical disabilities are benefitting from ARTreach Programs that teach life skills and train in an art vocation.


Being developed as a specialized enterprise program by Program Director Christine Stilwell, the "Within My Reach" goal is to promote inclusion and acceptance in our society and help each student to achieve their potential to become a happier, well connected and productive member of the community.

ARTreach programs in this arena are working to support continued education, social skills development, and enrichment to improve the overall quality of life for individuals with special needs.  


Who can enroll?

Students ages 14 and up who reside in Harris, Fort Bend or Waller Counties can enroll in the program. Most programs are home based or held on training sites that coincide with the vocation. Our current students are learning skills in culinary arts, eco- art, horticulture and photography. The options are endless, and completely determined by the student's interests and abilities. All students enrolled exhibit an interest in a special project; the most successful student is passionate and has a talent that can be nurtured.


Here are a few of our students

Nolan - ARTreach piloted this program for over two years, and tracked the success of model student Nolan. Nolan has Down's Syndrome. He is also the enterprising student behind "Sweet Heat!" An original recipe jelly made of garden grown jalapenos and berries. A proven success, Nolan makes Sweet Heat himself, in his kitchen with only a little help from his family. Nolan has a well-practiced routine now; he makes an average of two cases per week and sells a variety of flavors online and locally at markets and boutiques. Nolan volunteers with ARTreach every chance he gets. He likes to share samples of his jelly on cream cheese and crackers at ARTreach exhibitions and gallery openings in Katy. He is very proud of his work. With every sale, he donates a portion of his proceeds to ARTreach to support the Within My Reach Program so other students like him can benefit.


ARTreach creates opportunities for children and adults with cognitive, intellectual, and developmental disabilities to be a participating and respected member of our community. The Within My Reach program helps the student achieve the full extent of their ability and to grow in mind, body, and spirit.  Other enterprising student's dreams are coming true!




Read more student Success Stories 




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