Jun 17, 2020 People & Community Once the designs were made, we then called upon our local community to give life to the postcards by coloring in the artists’ drawings and writing messages of hope to those living and working in healthcare facilities across Northwest Arkansas. Once completed, the postcards were returned to Crystal Bridges, and the team sent the personalized postcards, along with creativity art kits, to patients and staff around the area. Local community organizations, like the Rogers, Farmington, and Fayetteville Public Libraries, the Arkansas Support Network, the Young Men’s Service League, the National Charity League, Lifestyles, Inc., and individuals in the NWA community mobilized their friends, families, and neighbors to write and color postcards. Crystal Bridges and Momentary staff, members, and volunteers were also a huge support to the campaign. On June 8, Crystal Bridges hosted a postcard coloring party to connect some of the postcard artists―Leana Fischer, Hannah Newsome Doyle, Kinya Christian, and Tram Colwin―with community members. The party provided a connection between artists and the community as the artists explained their inspiration for the postcards and taught guests a few coloring techniques. Altogether, over 3,600 postcards and art kits were distributed to community members. Bringing Us Together Through Art The art exhibition at the VA Medical Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Photo by Ironside Photography / Stephen Ironside. The second part of the Social Connecting Campaign consisted of a temporary art exhibition that is still ongoing through the month of June. In addition to the postcards, the nine artists also painted large-scale colorful versions of their postcard drawings which have been displayed outside hospitals and senior living facilities for staff, facility residents, and patients to view. Art kits were also distributed to encourage creativity while in isolation―kits which include a returned colored postcard from someone in the community! The art exhibition made quite the tour around Northwest Arkansas, including Arkansas Children’s Northwest, Fayetteville VA Medical Center, Garden at Osage Terrace, Hillcrest Towers Senior Center, Mercy Hospital, Morningside of Springdale, Northwest Medical Center, Bentonville, Northwest Medical Center, Springdale, Providence Assisted Living, UAMS Northwest Regional Campus, Washington Regional Hospital, and Willow Creek Women’s Hospital. Photo by Ironside Photography / Stephen Ironside. “The response from all involved has been overwhelming, and it’s brought joy to the lives of those most affected by this pandemic…This campaign demonstrates the excellence, generosity, and strong sense of service found here in NWA.” – Ayoola Carleton, Assistant Director of Research, UAMS Northwest Regional Campus Each drawing was brought to life on a 4×8-foot mural attached to a freestanding, custom-made support (big thanks to our wonderful Preparation team!). Patients and staff are able to spend a moment with the works installed outdoors and can respond to the pieces with the art kits that are delivered in advance. Photo by Ironside Photography / Stephen Ironside. “We are thankful that Northwest Health has been chosen as a venue for the Social Connecting Campaign. These works of art provide welcome opportunities for reflection, inspiration and comfort. In this time of isolation, my hope is that these art pieces will be a bright spot in the day of our patients, staff and community and for all of us to feel connected to one another.” – Christina Bull, Northwest Health Marketing Director The traveling art exhibition will be on view at the Momentary on August 4-16, 2020 on the Momentary Green and at Crystal Bridges August 18-31, 2020 on the North Lawn. *** After this campaign, we hope to continue our partnerships with social service, healthcare, and other local organizations to effectively understand the needs of the community and how art can play a role in filling those needs. Our hope is to continue these moments of connection and support for the Northwest Arkansas community, bringing us all one step closer “TOGETHER.” This post was written by Katie Robertson, engagement manager, the Momentary, and Moira Anderson, adult programs assistant manager, Crystal Bridges. The Social Connecting Task Force team included Moira, Katie, Marissa Reyes, Makele Ndessokia, Kim Crowell, Emily Rodriguez, and Sara Segerlin.