During this Season of Light, your generosity to our new CREATE Newberry efforts at the Newberry Arts Center will ensure that children like Catherine fine connection and healing through creativity and community.
By the 7th grade, Catherine had experienced the divorce of her parents and the death of her father.
"She became very withdrawn and angry," her mother Fran shared. "She retreated to her bedroom, and no one was allowed in. She stopped participating in family activities like eating out together. She struggled academically. She became a shell of herself." Fran was at a loss for how to help her daughter. "I really thought I had lost her," she shared.
Catherine's mother knew the grief of the divorce and the death of her father were causing her pain-based behaviors. She tried a new school, a therapy dog, and other extra curriculars. Nothing provided what she needed. "Catherine has always been what I call art smart," her mother shared. She had enjoyed participating in a week of summer camp at the Arts Center before taking pottery before her father died. Her grandmother offered Catherine a membership to the Center so she could take pottery again during the school year. "She didn't realize she could have a membership. Catherine was not excited, but she said yes, she would try it."
Slowly, Catherine began to come out of her room to go to her pottery classes. Then, she began to leave her door open. Eventually, she started leaving after pottery class to meet her family at a restaurant. Catherine was by far the youngest in the class, but she started describing these older ladies as her friends. "Mom, they don't have any drama," Catherine would say.
"Today, Catherine is herself again," her mom shared. "She is using her own money to keep her membership current. She is happy. She doesn't have this sense of darkness and anger or red hot around her. She is talking about college and her pottery teacher Katie is helping her think that through. She is soaring academically."
During this Season of Light, we invite you to consider a generous gift to CREATE Newberry that will increase our capacity to create rewarding experiences through art training and education. Experiences that provide a safe and healing community for children like Catherine. Thanks you for partnering with us this way.