Tag Archives: Soul Center

Walk4Friendship

5 Things you Need to Know About Walk4Friendship 2016

This year marks our 11th annual Walk4Friendship. We have some exciting new changes this year and these are the things you need to know. Please take a minute to read the following carefully and share this information with your family and friends via email and Facebook.

1. New Location, Same amount of space!

This year, the walk will be starting in the parking lot of the Jewish Community Center at 6600 W. Maple Road and ending at the Farber Center. While Some have expressed concerns that the Farber Center will not have adequate space to hold all walk participants. We can assure you that there will be plenty of room. Please check out the graphic below as it will show the space we will be using at this year’s walk.

2. New Time

Please note that there is a new starting time for the walk. To avoid the mid-day sun and hungry stomachs at the opening ceremony everything will start one hour earlier.

  • 10:30 AM: Registration for the walk begins.
  • 11:30 AM: Opening Ceremonies in the parking lot of the Jewish Community Center.
  • 11:50 AM: Walk4Friendship Begins.
  • 12:00-3:00 PM: Post-Walk entertainment at the Farber Center.

3. New Walk Route

Due to the new location, there will be a new walk route. The new route will depart from the JCC parking lot (north east side) and head north on Drake road for a just shy of a one mile walk to the Farber Center. Due to the new location and for logistical reasons we will not be having a 5K walk route this year. We do hope to bring back the 5K option for future walks.

4. Parking Information

Parking is at the Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital: 6777 West Maple Rd, between Halsted Rd and Drake Rd. Shuttles to the JCC will start at 10am. Be sure to arrive by 10:30am to be assured of an on-time arrival for the walk start (11:50am).

Returning to your cars from the Farber Center

Shuttles will run from the carnival to the parking area at the Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital starting at 12:30pm and running about every 30 minutes until 3pm.

Wheelchair accessible parking

Wheelchair accessible parking will be at the JCC (Drake Parking Lot). Wheelchair accessible shuttles will transport you to the JCC and bring you back to your vehicle after the event.  Only vehicles that have registered for wheelchair accessible parking will be allowed to park at the JCC parking lot. Please visit the Walk4Friendship webpage for specific information on Wheelchair accessible parking.

5. More tents to keep out of the sun

We are preparing for warm weather so you don’t have to sweat out a 90-degree day! We are doubling the amount of tent space available and the Farber Center Banquet Hall will be open as well.

 

Have questions? Make sure to contact Walk4Friendship Support.

Need to register for Walk4Friendship? Make sure to register at www.walk4friendship.com/register

We have a whole new lineup of new activities for this year’s Walk4Friendship. Visit walk4friendship.com/Entertainment to check out all of the new activities.

Soul Center Fiber Arts Studio Receives Generous Donation

Opportunity Knocks

Carolyn Sklarchyk has been weaving for over thirty-five years. Her son, Sam, age 24, was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. Since then, her family has been continuously involved with the Friendship Circle. When she learned they were planning to open an art studio alongside a kosher cafe, now the Farber Soul Center, she approached Bassie Shemtov, Co-President of the organization, about teaching weaving to the participants in the art studio. Her son Sam, who began in the painting area of the studio, now works in the cafe.

“Exploration is important.”

Brother Sewing Machine

The majority of Sklarchyk’s students come in with no prior experience in the fiber arts. She gets them right into it, teaching them about different types and colors of yarn, types of looms, and different things they might be able to create. Then she puts them at the loom and has them dive in headfirst. “It’s a lot of experimenting and guidance,” says Sklarchyk.

She works with up to thirty students at a time, fifteen to twenty on an average day, each assisted by a volunteer. All her students are over the age of eighteen, ranging up to adults in their late forties. There is an equal mix of male and female participants in the studio. “It’s a blast,” Sklarchyk told us.

Great for Everybody

Brother Donates Sewing Machines

Sklarchyk had mentioned to Shemtov that there was a need for sewing machines in the fiber arts studio. Many participants were interested in sewing, and it would make creating items, such as purses and pillows, much easier. Shemtov approached Brother International Corporation, a leading manufacturer of home sewing and embroidery machines, and got them to donate six machines, including a embroidery machine and an edging machine. “They donated magnificent equipment. The artists have been using everything,” Sklarchyk gushes about the donation.

Carolyn’s daughter Emma (Morris), 21, helped to set up the machines and assisted a few artists with their first projects. One artist, Dovid, was thrilled to embroider text on his tallis bag.

Sklarchyk reflected on how the artists have gained new skills on the new equipment.  “They’re learning faster than me and they started using it the morning after it was donated!”

When asked about how the Soul Center has benefitted individuals with special needs, she had this to say, “In the creative world, we are all equal. We all have the ability to create. When they sew or weave, their (the students) self-esteem grows. It has been great for everybody.”

soul cafe training

Friendship Circle’s Farber Friendship Center Offers Employment to Individuals with Special Needs

As we get closer to the official opening of the Farber Friendship Center, Friendship Circle was able to begin putting our plan in place for one of the unique offerings of the new facility: employment for individuals with special needs.

For the shifts that will run the new Soul Cafe, the aim was for 40% of the staff positions to be filled with persons with special needs. During the week of March 7, Friendship Circle began handing out job offers to individuals that interviewed for the positions and were chosen to work at the Soul Café.

As we handed out offer letters to current staff members at Milk & Honey Kosher Catering, the organization that will run the day-to-day operations at Soul Cafe, the excitement was infectious.

The persons that received offer letters were filled with excitement at the opportunity to gain employment and continue to be involved with Friendship Circle and the Farber Friendship Center.

Watch Ben learn that he is one of the first employees of Friendship Circle’s Soul Cafe. The Soul Café will provide a mouthwatering kosher menu featuring gourmet soups, salads and sandwiches in a warm and relaxed environment. The café will teach adults with #specialneeds the skills of food prep, cooking, hosting and serving. In addition, the Soul Café will provide life skills opportunities for the 2,500 students from across Metro Detroit who participate annually in Friendship Circle’s Lessons For Life program. http://friendshipcircle.org/soul

Posted by Friendship Circle of Michigan on Tuesday, March 15, 2016

In their positions of employment, adults with special needs will learn the necessary skills to host, serve, prepare and cook food, interact with customers, take meal orders and all other elements of the food service industry.

The Soul Café will provide a mouthwatering kosher menu featuring gourmet soups, salads and sandwiches in a warm and relaxed environment. The café will teach adults with ‪‎special needs‬ the skills of food prep, cooking, hosting and serving.

In addition, the Soul Café will provide life skills opportunities for the 2,500 students from across Metro Detroit who participate annually in Friendship Circle’s Lessons For Life program.

“The Soul Cafe Work Training program is a great way for individuals of all abilities to have the confidence and tools to hold a job while feeling a purpose to succeed far beyond their own expectations. With the SCWT program, all employees at the Soul Cafe have the opportunity to work in an environment that highlights inclusion while being able to focus on strengths and not hide their disabilities. It’s an environment that accepts an employee for who he is while helping form the individual’s strengths in the workplace and assisting the person to get to the next level and find a job in the typical world gain confidence and skills while benefitting from inclusion with real world purposes.” – Farber Friendship Center’s Program Director Jordan Shifman

Throughout the training, candidates will learn about proper restaurant etiquette and techniques, customer service and food prep, punctuality, scheduling, dress codes, rules of conduct, performance reviews and much more.

Employees will also receive training from vendors like Starbucks that will come in and train baristas to work behind the counter!

Training in progress at the Soul Cafe! Watch Sam master the Starbucks Coffee machine in the video below. Getting hungry? The Soul Cafe will be open for business very, very soon! Like the Soul Cafe on Facebook to get the latest updates. https://www.facebook.com/FCSoulCafe/

Posted by Friendship Circle of Michigan on Sunday, March 27, 2016

Soul Center Mini

Big Hearts at Soul Center Mini

As construction continues on the future site of the Farber Soul Center, a new  temporary location has been opened to provide opportunities for young adults with special needs.

The “Soul Center Mini”, provides an exciting preview for the future. Only a fraction of the size of what the completed Farber Soul Center will be, every inch of the space is utilized for artful purpose. From weaving to printmaking, painting to graphic design, there is truly something for every artist to showcase their talent.

Upon entering Soul Center Mini, one cannot help but feel its impact. Entry walls display beautiful artwork, setting the stage for the potential and possibility beyond them. Instructors Carolyn Morris and Brian Kavanaugh have designed a space that provides opportunity and encourages collaboration. Carolyn, a gifted fiber artist, notes, “the way Brian’s arranged the space, the openness of it…it’s creating a sense of community. The people who are weaving are talking to the people who are making clay, inspiring joint projects and togetherness.”

carolynandrtisits

Instructor Carolyn Morris leads artists in a weaving lesson.

Not only are the young adults instructed in a variety of media and encouraged to venture outside their comfort zones, they are educated on the responsibilities of a workplace. “We will be teaching specific skills to strengthen a person’s overall experience and resume…the scenarios that go along with having a job such as recording ones arrival and departure time, and how to handle social situations inherent to a work environment”, says Brian.

Additionally, every aspect that goes into a finished piece of art is attended to; each step treated as a learning opportunity. Artists have a hand in tasks such as stretching their canvases, installing their work, and cataloguing each piece, just to name a few.

Carolyn&Devorah

Carolyn Morris and artist Devorah Newman weave a scarf.

Introducing Brian Kavanaugh

For Brian, his level of comfort working with special needs comes with experience. Graduating with a BFA, he went on to obtain a graduate degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He joins the Friendship Circle from Autism Services in Buffalo, New York where he worked in a similar center for the arts. As an artist himself, any chance to make a mark on the community in a tangible way made all the difference for him. He’s seeking to do the same for the individuals at the Soul Center.

BrianInstallation

Instructor Brian Kavanaugh hangs a tapestry woven at the Center.

Creating Works of Art Based on Personality

The level of enjoyment and quality of the work being created is directly correlated with the approach to instruction. Each artist’s background is carefully considered to determine where they might excel. For artist Saadia, the subject matter is much more important than the materials being used. Where as artist Aislinn’s interests lie in the process of a piece and the sensations of the material. Incorporation of these unique interests when working with the artists is what’s taking their abilities to the next level and always amounts to something beautiful.

Saadiacomposing

Artist Saadia Grossbard composes a collage.

Excellence at Work

Though the wonderful guidance being offered at the Center is undeniable, nothing compares to when an artist takes charge of their direction. When asked about the most rewarding aspect of the day, Brian replied, “the moment where they, the artists, start to contemplate what the next move should be instead of other people telling them what to do, when they make the next decision. It’s so empowering for them.”

Aislinncontemplating

Artist Aislinn Wendrow contemplates her painting.

The Soul Center Mini has only been up and running for a short time, but the participating artists are finding a voice there. Each masterpiece represents the individuality and spirit of its creator, the very essence of art itself. The Center is paving the way for the Friendship Circle to expand its mission into the lives of young adults with special needs and the heart of the mission can be found there too.

Friendship Circle Opening Cafe and Art Studio for Vocational Opportunities

Since 1994 Friendship Circle has been dedicated to providing exciting new programs to children with special needs and their families. However, those amazing children that joined us in 1994 are now amazing young adults. In order to continue to give them the encouragement and support that they need, we need to continue to adapt and advance our programming.

A New Adventure: The Farber Soul Center

Soul Center RenderingAfter acquiring a portion of a shopping center located at Drake Rd., just south of Walnut Lake Rd in West Bloomfield, Friendship Circle will soon begin to construct and operate a Cafe and Art Studio.  The Farber Soul Center, as it will be named, from a generous $2.1 million donation from the William and Audrey Farber Family Foundation, will be a facility where Friendship Circle will extend programming into the lives of adults with special needs through culinary, digital and traditional arts, thus getting the much needed on-the-job training.  We are continuing to raise an additional half million dollars which is necessary to proceed.

About the Soul Cafe

lighter-look4Soul Cafe will be a gathering place, with a state of the art kosher restaurant.  The unique menu will be unparalleled in the area and most importantly will be created and served by their staff of both, typically-able, and those who have special needs, as they work together as a team.  These young adults with special needs will receive on the job training in kitchen and serving skills. The café also gives the existing Lessons for Life program, currently utilized by over 200 schools around the metro Detroit area, the opportunity to expand their lessons for students with special needs into dining etiquette, utilizing the café’s real-world setting.

About the Soul Studio

inside1Soul Studio will be a professional art studio that encourages these adults with special needs to find their passion and explore the many different artistic media that will be available to them. Friendship Circle will submit the artists’ work to be shown in galleries, entered in contests and sold to commercial and residential customers.

Cutting edge digital technologies such as photography, video, 3-D printing and animation will be available to help them express themselves.  These artists, with the help of state of the art computers, will have the opportunity to sell tangible productions of their digital designs. Of course, no art studio would be complete without artists being able to learn and create paintings, ceramic, weaving, jewelry, printmaking and folk art.

inside2Art Gallery

Also located inside the Farber Soul Center will be the Soul Gallery, which will proudly exhibit the works of the artist.  The gallery will be open daily to the public for viewing and purchasing.

A Message from the Farber Family

Nanci Farber, daughter in law, said, “The Friendship Circle is an entity which is unparalleled in our community.   It is with great joy and a deep warmth and appreciation to The Friendship Circle that the Farber family decided to facilitate the creation and running of the Farber Soul Center.  We however, are only a piece. It takes so many to build such an incredible space. We are indebted to everyone involved and truly grateful to be able to be a part of this amazing journey. The added bonus of this new facility is that it allows Friendship Circle another benefit to their families with children who have special needs that currently are enrolled in their existing programming.  In the evenings, once the Farber Soul Center closes, these children with special needs and their teen volunteers will be able to delve into the arts and find their passions.”