By Laura Lansrud-Lopez
At the beginning of March 2020, New Mexico experienced a statewide and rapid shift to physical distancing and stay-home requirements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and global health crisis. Even with so much unknown, the leadership team at Tierra Nueva quickly recognized the impact this might have on our clients. The staff at TNCC went into action. By mid-March we implemented a process for moving all therapy services to distance platforms for licensed therapists and students in practicum and internship and developed the necessary supervisory processes and informed consents for this unanticipated transition.
Whew! A heroic success of teamwork and grit.
But… not enough. We soon realized that many of our clients lacked access to art supplies at home or were unable to purchase art supplies due to financial hardship and other factors. How might they continue their art therapy work from home?
In “normal” times we might send a client home with art supplies to work between sessions. But in the time of COVID-19 we couldn’t share supplies from our office or accept used art supply donations.
Thankfully, one of our licensed art therapists, Adrianna Anderson, suggested making Take Home Art Kits with new, unopened supplies that we could offer for no-contact curbside pickup.
Yay! The idea ignited energy across the leadership team and led to a very successful fundraising effort within our community. We are grateful to all those who donated to this initiative.
We now have Take Home Art Kits for all of our clients and have been scheduling curbside pick-up since April.
Each Take Home Art Kit is valued at $15 and contains:
- Paper: Bienfang Mixed Media Pad, 8.5 x 5.5, 40pgs
- Markers: Crayola Classic Original, Broad Tip, set of 12
- Watercolor: Sargent Art-Time Washable Watercolor, set of 16 colors
- Colored Pencils: Crayola, Pre-Sharpened, set of 12 colors
- Oil Pastel: Sargent Oil Pastels, set of 16 colors, regular
- Tip Sheets: ideas for art making using recycled and household items (thank you Magdalena Karlick and Deborah Schroder for compiling these tips!)
- Hand sanitizer: Personal size (2oz) bottle donated by Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery (thank you Jason Kirkman at Tumbleroot!)
If you would like to help us support the mental health of our community by donating to this art supply initiative, contribute to TNCC client services, or donate to help students in need, please do so at the swc.edu website under the “donate now” tab. Together, we can support each other through this difficult time.