Many teens and young adults with special needs are never given the opportunity to express themselves creatively. Lack of opportunity, resources and time generally are barriers for any human being, let alone those who require a little extra investment.
This problem is exactly what Friendship Circle aims to solve at the Farber Center, a flagship facility currently under construction that will meet the needs of these individuals and help them hone undiscovered creative skills, and it all stems from generosity.
The generosity of others has driven the Friendship Circle since its founding, and the same holds true of the upcoming Farber Center. The donation of effort, expertise, time, funding and supplies has brought the facility to life while the temporary Soul Center Mini has succeeded brilliantly in its pilot programs, which include ceramics, laser and digital arts, painting, paper mache, weaving and more.
Such generosity has paved the way for the Farber Center’s programmatic appeal, catering to a number of interests, skillsets and mediums. One such program is silkscreening, which has quickly become a growing favorite among the artists.
Silk screening with a quality machine can be incredibly expensive, often coming with a price tag of $10,000 or more. It is by the benevolence of Screenprinting.com that the Friendship Circle is able to offer such a unique and expressive program at the Farber Center.
Just last year, the Friendship Circle approached Screenprinting.com with a longshot request. However, because the potential of the Farber Center so eminently shone through, the resulting gift took everyone by surprise. Not only was a brand new, state-of- the-art four-panel silkscreening machine donated, but so were the necessary accessories required for its use in a studio, including: a conveyer drying machine; cleaning materials; 75 practice screens and ink.
The silkscreening process has become an valuable learning tool for the artists and a noticeable asset for the Farber Center. As a manual machine, the artists are walked through every step where they learn to execute stunning designs.
But don’t let the word “manual” fool you into thinking the process is slow; this machine is intended for large orders and is a promising source of revenue for the Farber Center and its artists.
Outweighing the machine’s production is its usability. All of Farber Center’s artists are capable of silkscreening, which translates into the artists realizing what they, otherwise, might have not known they had.
The structure and repetition of the screening process is key for a wide variety of diagnoses, while the use of color and design evoke individual creative expression. The end results are not only beautiful; they are useful results that instill confidence and comfort to the Farber Center’s artists.
“The silkscreening program is very empowering,” said Jordan Shifman, Farber Center’s Manager of Operations. “It gives our artists the chance to see a project through from start to finish and send it out into the world almost immediately to be appreciated.”
With the continued use and production of the silkscreen, more items will soon be available for custom order, including: sweatshirts, sweatpants, t-shirts, skirts, bandanas and hats. This list will continue to grow as the artists become seasoned in their silkscreening technique.
The Farber Farber Center’s opening in 2016 will only enhance these extraordinary programs. From the talented artists that are constantly discovering their hidden gifts, to the growing list of donated materials, this new venture for the Friendship Circle is already exceeding expectations.
The generosity of organizations like Screenprinting.com is tremendously appreciated by every member under the Friendship Circle and Farber Center umbrella as the artists continue to find new ways to comfortably and confidently express themselves and their creativity in an environment where they feel safe from judgement and their souls can continue to shine.
People with special needs can really teach us life lessons that we cannot get from professors; they are people who are capable of doing things the same as typical, productive people to society and what they have to offer can be truly inspiring and amazing.