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Local News: The Beach Club receives grant for community art programming

community event beach club grantThe Beach Club of Dare, a day program which supports individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD), is always flurry of activity in the morning as participants arrive and get ready for the day.

Ellen Usher, one of the Beach Club’s long-time participants, looks forward to art classes every day. Her favorite part of the program is the time she gets to spend drawing and painting. Her art has even been featured at the Mollie Fearing Memorial Art Show in Manteo. For Usher, and many other participants at the day program, art classes are a big part of why they love attending.

Because of that, Monarch is expanding the Beach Club’s creative arts programming, including  visual art, music and dance opportunities, through a generous grant from the Outer Banks Community Foundation and the Pauline Wright Fund for Dare County.

“We are so excited for this opportunity to expand our arts activities at Beach Club,” said Erma Brault, a Monarch operations director. “The support of the Outer Banks Community Foundation and our partnership with the Dare County Arts Council are so important to this program.”

The creative arts programming officially kicked-off with a Community Day and Open House, on Thursday, Aug. 27, at the Beach Club. During that time, participants, community volunteers and guests began painting a large mural to decorate the art room. 

The grant will help fund supplies and equipment for the Beach Club’s art instruction room, as the program begins to host guest instructors from the community to teach art, music and dance throughout the year.

Local volunteers and artists like Chris Sawin, executive director of the Dare County Arts Council, will also be able to continue already established classes with participants. He and several Beach Club participants recently created an original piece of music using an iPad application called “The Beach Club Boogie.”

At the Beach Club, visual art instruction and activities are a large part of many of the participants’ personal interests. This grant will provide a truly creative space that can be used by all program participants as they achieve their goals of learning new skills, engaging in creative expression and interacting in new and productive ways in the wider Dare County community.

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