Volunteer Perspective: Julie Price from the Therapeutic Arts Table
March 31, 2014
My experience with Broad Street Ministry began three years ago, when, feeling stranded in the suburbs, I searched for a way to be of service. My “therapeutic skills” had been simmering on a back burner as I focused on being a mom, and I wanted to find a way to reawaken my artistic side. Greg Moore, a musician in the Motley Order Choir, told me about Broad Street Ministry, and so, after exploring the website, I decided to volunteer at Breaking Bread. I showed up on a Thursday and offered to help. Becca, then the Facilitator of Transformative Arts, briefed me on the therapeutic arts program and suggested I start by making art alongside our guests. Afterwards, she invited me to have coffee with her so we could get to know each other better. I appreciated that Becca chose to learn more about me over coffee, rather than requiring that I jump through the usual hoops. Soon, I understood that all of Broad Street Ministry was like Becca; welcoming and comfortable, yet careful and safety conscious.
I continue to volunteer at BSM because I have a wonderful time making art with everyone who comes to the table: guests, volunteers and staff. At the art table its sometimes unclear who is who. We all recognize that all is not “fine”—yet we paint, do collage, and have good laughs. Something enlightening always happens. The environment is real and lively, and the absence of pretense refreshing.
As I’ve participated in the therapeutic arts program, my own artistic abilities have developed and deepened. Since beginning at Broad Street Ministry, I’ve enrolled in six art courses in the Philadelphia area. And there is no end in sight.