creative clay - family fun

 

By KERRY KRISEMAN
Public Relations Manager

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” These words spoken by Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired a Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of service project and further solidified a community partnership with between two St. Petersburg non-profit organizations.

“Jewelry of Hope” married the art making skills of Creative Clay member artists with the activism and advocacy of CASA staff and volunteers.

Creative Clay and Community Action Stops Abuse (CASA) used the words of King to spur action on Jan. 21 at the Family Fun Festival at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.

creative clay - family fun

Leading up to the Day of Service, 800 colorful polymer clay beads were crafted by survivors of domestic violence and their families, Creative Clay artist volunteers and CASA volunteers. The necklaces will be given to persons fleeing domestic violence when they are admitted to an emergency shelter, as a sign of community support and encouragement. The jewelry also will be distributed as personal gifts for survivors who are homeless due to flight from domestic violence.

“We’re extremely grateful for community partners like Creative Clay who donate their time and talent to serve survivors of domestic violence,” said CASA CEO Lariana Forsythe. “A gifted necklace may seem like a simple gesture, but for our participants it may be a first step in regaining the self-worth that has been stolen by their abuser.”

“This is the third MLK Day of Service collaboration between CASA and Creative Clay and we are grateful for the opportunity,” Creative Clay CEO Kim Dohrman said. “Our artists have loved volunteering at CASA throughout the years, bringing a variety of arts activities to the survivors at the shelter. The arts have an important place to play in healing and expression and we appreciate our long-time partnership with such an important organization.”

creative clay - family fun

At the MLK Family Fun Festival, the public was invited to assemble a necklace for a survivor, adorned with inspirational words like “strength,” “hope,” and “courage.” The creating didn’t stop there. Some of the public even made their own necklaces, as a representation of the advocacy efforts by both organizations.

Creative Clay’s mission is to help people with disabilities achieve full and inclusive lives through access to the arts by providing expressive, educational and vocational experiences. Creative Clay’s team of professional artists provide outreach art experiences to people with disabilities, as well as children, veterans and those in shelters.


ABOUT CASA (COMMUNITY ACTION STOPS ABUSE)

CASA provides safety, empowerment and prevention programs to end domestic violence. It is the 501c3 certified domestic violence center based in southern Pinellas County, Florida.

CASA operates the area’s 24-hour hotline and emergency shelter, non-residential programs such as support groups, economic empowerment and legal advocacy, Child Protective Investigative Team support and community and corporate training. In addition, CASA’s Peacemakers teach anti-bullying and healthy relationship curriculum to thousands of children each year in the Pinellas County school system.

For more information, visit www.casa-stpete.org; e-mail CASA at info@casa-stpete.org. Contact CASA’s office and domestic violence hotline at 727-895-4912/TTY: 727-828-1269.