ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Creative Clay and Community Action Stops Abuse (CASA) will turn words into action Jan. 21, 2019, when they partner to create “Jewelry of Hope” at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Family Fun Festival at Tropicana Field.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” These words spoken by Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired the project, which marries the art making skills of Creative Clay member artists with the activism and advocacy of CASA staff and volunteers.
The St. Petersburg Police Department estimates that about 14% of the victims of murders related to domestic violence were unaware of CASA supportive services. The goal of this community service project is to increase public awareness through involvement with the hope that more individuals in need will be empowered to access safety and sanctuary.
Leading up to the Day of Service, 800 colorful polymer clay beads are being crafted by survivors of domestic violence and their families, Creative Clay artist volunteers and CASA volunteers. The necklaces will be given to persons fleeing domestic violence when they are admitted to an emergency shelter, as a sign of community support and encouragement.
The jewelry also will be distributed as personal gifts for survivors who are homeless due to flight from domestic violence.
“We’re extremely grateful for community partners like Creative Clay who donate their time and talent to serve survivors of domestic violence,” said CASA CEO Lariana Forsythe. “A gifted necklace may seem like a simple gesture, but for our participants it may be a first step in regaining the self-worth that has been stolen by their abuser.”
“This is the third MLK Day of Service collaboration between CASA and Creative Clay and we are grateful for the opportunity,” Creative Clay CEO Kim Dohrman said. “Our artists have loved volunteering at CASA throughout the years, bringing a variety of arts activities to the survivors at the shelter. The arts have an important place to play in healing and expression and we appreciate our long-time partnership with such an important organization.”
Creative Clay and CASA invite the public to participate by helping to assemble a necklace or a bracelet for a survivor, adorned with inspirational words like “strength,” “hope,” and “courage.” The public is also invited to make their own necklace as well, while learning about the services offered by CASA.
Creative Clay’s mission is to help people with disabilities achieve full and inclusive lives through access to the arts by providing expressive, educational and vocational experiences. Creative Clay’s team of professional artists provide outreach art experiences to people with disabilities, as well as children, veterans and those in shelters.
ABOUT CASA (COMMUNITY ACTION STOPS ABUSE)
CASA provides safety, empowerment and prevention programs to end domestic violence. It is the 501c3 certified domestic violence center based in southern Pinellas County, Florida.
CASA operates the area’s 24-hour hotline and emergency shelter, non-residential programs such as support groups, economic empowerment and legal advocacy, Child Protective Investigative Team support and community and corporate training. In addition, CASA’s Peacemakers teach anti-bullying and healthy relationship curriculum to thousands of children each year in the Pinellas County school system.
firstname.lastname@example.org|Office & 24 hour domestic violence hotline: 727-895-4912 / TTY: 727-828-1269