“A good thing we all deserve”
June 7, 2023
If you stop by Open Studio at EPIC Arts or take a clay class, you will find artists of different backgrounds and skill levels all connecting over their shared love of the arts. EPIC has been providing a space for people to learn new skills and grow in their artistic ability for years, but the studio has also become an important space for people to connect with each other and the community.
“The only thing that really stuck was EPIC… I wanted to keep coming back.”
Building community right where you are is not as easy as it sounds. One of EPIC’s regulars, Allie, described the challenges she faced trying to find community after she moved to Kansas City right before the COVID-19 pandemic. “Trying to find friends [and] build community was nonexistent for me for the past three years. I did not know anybody. . . so it has been tough for me to try to figure life out.” But give people something to connect over, and sometimes a unique magic happens. “I went to yoga, I went to coffee shops, I tried to make friends at trivia…” Allie explains, “The only thing that really stuck was EPIC… I wanted to keep coming back.”
“EPIC gets people involved with the rest of their community”
For the artists who use the studio, like Averill, it is easy to see “how [EPIC Arts] gets people involved with the rest of their community, how it gets them to try something new & meet new people, and how it’s helped people find something they really enjoy doing.” EPIC has beginner classes and hosts activities to introduce neighbors and artists to new skills and create a space for people to connect over a shared interest in art. Averill can “see how EPIC impacts the community every time I’m [in] the studio.”
Art is about more than the final piece you might see in an exhibit. For Hannah, an EPIC student, “exposure to the arts is an important thing and . . . it should be available for all because it teaches kids to think creatively, problem solve, and be themselves.”
“This is a good thing that we all deserve.”
EPIC works with local organizations and schools to bring art to students in Kansas City, Kansas neighborhoods. For Hannah, seeing the work EPIC does to share art with everyone in our community “brings [her] joy that they exist in a county and a city that mean so much to so many people, but don’t always get the best of things. This is a good thing that we all deserve.” Art is for everyone and should not be a privilege only accessible to the few. CHWC’s arts programs help make art accessible and provide opportunities for people to create art in our community.
Your support helps EPIC Arts continue to share the arts with our neighbors. Want to be part of building community and creating opportunities like this one in our neighborhoods? We can do more when we work together! Click here to get involved.