Arts for All

Grace Hudson, Executive Director of Arts for All, chatted with us about the program, it’s needs and great local wine pairings.

Can you briefly tell us the mission of your group?

Our mission is to empower people of all abilities through accessible arts and culture opportunities while advocating for inclusive community engagement.

How long has the nonprofit been in Northern Michigan?

We’ve been in Northern MI as chapters of Very Special Arts and Artist Creating Together since 1992, and as our own 501(c)3 Arts for All of Northern MI since 2015! For over 27 years, we’ve been providing accessible and adaptive art and culture programming in our region.

How long have you been with the organization and what drew you to working with them?

I have been with the organization since March 2017 – I was a teacher with a background in Special Education and I’m an artist personally, so the opportunity to work within both sectors while engaging with our community was a dream come true!

What can $1 do for your organization?

$1 for our organization can mean so much! All of our programs are supported by generous community sponsors, donors, and grants so all gifts reach individuals of ALL ages and abilities in Antrim, Benzie, Kalkaska, Grand Traverse, and Leelanau counties. A $1 gift could mean:

-Art supplies for a student in our Art Escapes classroom workshops like stained glass, clay, dance, and more.
-Admission for an individual to our monthly adaptive ACCESS program promoting accessible art and culture.
-Supplies for our free community art outreach projects like Friday Night Lives, community exhibits, and more.
-Support for our community studio that hosts everything from infant/toddler playgroups to art workshops to community events!

It is an all around crazy time, but what are some specific challenges you are facing?

We are all about adapting and that is exactly what everyone is trying to do in this challenging time. At A4A, we are working hard to adapt our programming to reach our special education students throughout the remainder of the school year. This means working with our local teaching artists to move to a virtual teaching platform, mailing supplies and instructions, and working directly with teachers to connect to students. We are also looking ahead to the summer and planning for ways to continue our adapted programming, as well as finding ways to safely return to the studio in new ways. We know the importance of community connection as well as self-expression through art and we are committed to providing these vital opportunities for all.

 

 Personally, what are things you miss and what do you most look forward to when quarantine is over?

We miss being with all of our students, teachers, and community artists! We know that it may be a long time before we’re able to gather as we did before, but we are so excited for the day we can create and celebrate in the same physical spaces. In the spring, we usually come together to celebrate our season of art and cheer on our students as they perform and showcase what they’ve worked so hard on for the past year. We miss being able celebrate their work, together.

We typically have 5 community dances a year generously hosted by the Elk’s Lodge – though we miss dancing the night away together, we’ve been able to dance together virtually via Zoom and we LOVE seeing the faces of our friends ‘together’ again.

 

And what are some of your favorite Michigan food and wine pairings?

We absolutely LOVE Michigan food and wine pairings, and are even more grateful for the amazing support that has come with these wines! We are so honored to be supported by Mawby through the Green Giving Program and through various fundraising events, as well as annual support from Rove Estate Winery and Black Star Farms.

As for my favorite pairings from Mawby – my maiden name was Grace Green, so obviously I love BOTH of those bubblies! I love a glass of Sandpiper with a great charcuterie tray on a summertime evening. I’m also a big fan of an oaked Chardonnay and I love the bold reds our region produces!