Artbeat Studio striking out stigma

The Projector

Artbeat Studio striking out stigma

Bowl-a-thon fundraiser supports mental health awareness

Rebecca Henderson | October 7th, 2013

 

Next weekend’s annual Strike out Stigma! Bowl-a-thon will raise money for Artbeat Studio.

Artbeat Studio works with artists who have mental illnesses. They offer six-month rotations for artists, which include a space to work and mentorship to work through their illnesses.

Jonathan Garwood started the bowl-a-thon, which is held for Mental Illness Awareness Week, after meeting Artbeat Studio founder and facilitator Nigel Bart in 2003 and getting involved with the organization as a volunteer and board member.

“Artbeat Studio helped me put my life back together when I was a volunteer,” he said. “Nigel is an incredible support [for me].”

For Garwood, Strike out Stigma! is an opportunity to raise more money and awareness for the organization so it can continue helping others who are going through similar problems.

“Last year it was a phenomenal success,” said Garwood. “We’re hoping to sell out in advance this year.”

Elaine Penner, an Artbeat Studio graduate, said, “The more we can get mental illness out there, the more we can get rid of the stigma surrounding it.”

Penner, who participated in the bowl-a-thon last year, admits she didn’t get around to much bowling during the event.

“I was too excited to be a part of it. I was running around, talking, and taking pictures—just having too much fun to keep score!”

The bowl-a-thon raised $1,500 last year—a combination of the entrance cost and participants who pledged beforehand. Penner was the bowler with the highest amount of pledges and this year she’s donating a glazed porcelain flower basket she made to be a prize.

“Artbeat Studio made me really proud of what I’ve done and I wanted to contribute,” she said.

Garwood hopes to expand future bowl-a-thons to other locations in the city. Until then, he wants to make this year’s bowl-a-thon the best.

“It’s incredible how much fun we had, and last year, everyone walked away with a prize,” he said.

Last year’s prizes included Bomber’s tickets, restaurant gift cards and a $200 ceramic bowl designed by Nigel’s mom and Artbeat Studio’s Executive Director, Lucille Bart.

Strike out Stigma! is being held at Uptown Academy Lanes 394 Academy Rd, Saturday Oct. 12 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.. It’s $10 per person and five people per team. Contact Artbeat Studio Art Program Coordinator Rebecca Winkworth for more information at (204) 943-8290 or rebecca@artbeatstudio.ca.

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