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  • A Heartbreaking Loss: Beloved Friend & Studio Manager of Project Onward

    A message from our Executive Director, Nancy Gomez: Whitney Oliver, our beloved friend, studio manager, and integral member of the Project Onward family along with her unborn son Felix, have passed away suddenly. I know that I speak for our staff, board members, volunteers, and interns, when I say that our hearts are broken over this tragic news.⁠ ⁠ Whitney began volunteering at Project Onward in 2016 and quickly rose to the manager’s position. She loved her job working closely with our artists and had a unique knack for inspiring them to create extraordinary art. She was kind, patient, compassionate, opinionated, and stubborn as hell when she believed in something and fought like a mama bear for her artists. She loved having karaoke parties and really, really wanted to have a baby. She loved dessert and relished every last crumb. She cracked us up with her mimicry. We called her Whit and Whinnie.⁠ There’s so much more to tell you about her - and we will. Our hearts go out to her husband and fellow Project Onward friend and volunteer Alex, her mother Jan, father Blaine and her three brothers. Funeral and memorial arrangements will be forthcoming - you'll be hearing more from us soon. With Deepest Sympathy, Nancy

  • Our New Ceramics Studio Got Talked Up in the News!

    Our just-opened Ceramics Studio, located on the sunny fifth floor of the Bridgeport Arts Center, is making a splash thanks to three different news stories that covered it! WGN9: "Bridgeport non-profit expands facilities to support inclusive artistry" NBC5: "Bridgeport Art Gallery Opens New Ceramic Studio to Help Adults With Disabilities" WBBM Newsradio: "Project Onward opens new ceramics studio to help artists with disabilities create, sell work" Our studio is looking for ceramicists with developmental disabilities and mental illnesses to join our studio! If you or someone you know would like more information about the requirements to join the program, check out our eligibility page and write to us at info@projectonward.org.

  • Project Onward Opens New Ceramic Studio!

    Ceramists Invited to Join the Program Project Onward celebrates an exciting event in October! The non-profit studio, a leader in disability arts, is opening a new ceramic studio on the fifth floor of the Bridgeport Art Center. The additional workspace will provide ceramists who have developmental disabilities or mental illness with workspaces and creative tools at no cost. This opportunity is made possible by the generous three-year grant contribution from the Virginia A. Groot Foundation, a non-profit organization that celebrates artists in the field of sculptural and three-dimensional art. The ceramic studio marks a momentous shift for Project Onward. From new pottery wheels and kilns to supplies and materials, the studio is built from the ground up to enable artists to create three-dimensional ceramic pieces. The design also lets artists express their creativity in a safe environment. Project Onward faithfully works to give artists with developmental disabilities and mental illness a "visual voice" to tell their stories and change the world's perceptions. “Ceramic art is a way of taking objects out of my inner world and making them into a physical reality” - Project Onward Ceramic Artist, Cherylle Booker Due to the sustained commitment of The Virginia A. Groot Foundation, Project Onward will expand its program to exceed more than sixty artists who can continue to create art without limitations. The organization is excited about the possibilities that lay ahead. The addition of the ceramic studio opens the door for new artists, staff, and volunteers. Ceramists Invited to Join the Program The ceramic studio opens in October. Project Onward is seeking talented artists with developmental disabilities or mental illness to participate in the ceramics program. Our non- profit studio is inclusive, and we embrace artists with a wide range of experiences. If you or someone you know would like more information about the requirements to join the program, please visit our eligibility page and contact Email: info@projectonward.org About Virginia A. Groot Foundation: The Virginia A. Groot Foundation was established in 1988 and has since provided the financial means for three-dimensional artists worldwide to bring their vision to life. Fostering creative development in the sculptural space, the Foundation celebrates unique art forms, narratives, and mediums by providing annual grants so artists can continue to create without limitations. The Foundation has advocated for the art community by creating connections and freedom of artistic expression. The Virginia A. Groot Foundation was created with the belief that it has the potential to change artists’ lives. For more information, please visit: www.virginiaagrootfoundation.org

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