The Francis Family Foundation Awards $2,700 to The Whole Person, Inc.

The Whole Person, Inc. recently received a grant for $2,700 from the Francis Family Foundation to support Expressions, a visual arts exhibition that allows people with disabilities to exhibit their art which is hosted by The Whole Person and held during the First Friday art walk each May.

The Whole Person will use the grant money to help as many artists as they can to prepare their work for the professional showing. Kansas City has a rich and vibrant arts community; however, too often people with disabilities do not take part because of physical, financial, or attitudinal barriers This project helps TWP accomplish its mission by: 1) Advocating for people with disabilities by showing their artwork in a professional gallery at what is known by the community as a high quality art event. Artists have the opportunity to sell art for their own profit, encouraging independence. 2) Encouraging change in the community by providing an open event for the community to see the art of those with disabilities, thus improving their perception of the abilities of those with disabilities.

Expressions is designed to broaden the type of art shown to the Kansas City community, educate the community about the therapeutic power of art in the lives of individuals with disabilities, and help individuals with disabilities discover a wide variety of art support in Kansas City. Expressions will show art created by those with disabilities, dispelling any possible assumptions that those with disabilities can’t create professional level art. It will showcase how those with mental health disabilities use their art to work through their struggles and trauma. It will also encourage those with disabilities to attend the First Friday art show, exposing them to the variety of art and cultural diversity that the Crossroads Arts District has to offer. This event is free and open to the public with wine and hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment, raffle prizes, and an opportunity to meet the artists. This program will provide cultural enhancement to the Kansas City community who will view unique artwork rarely seen in public and meet some extraordinary individuals who have overcome adversity through the creative process.

The mission of The Whole Person (TWP) is to “assist people with disabilities to live independently and encourage change within the community to expand opportunities for independent living.” TWP’s goal is to promote empowerment, independence, self-reliance and integration into the community for people with disabilities. TWP provides a full range of community-based services for people with disabilities and strives to help them identify and implement resources appropriate to their situation while equipping them with the knowledge and skills required to solve problems and achieve goals on their own.

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