Save Creative Awakenings-Disability

$2,830 of $69,819 goal

Raised by 42 people in 7 months
Created July 10, 2018
Creative Awakenings Studio of Art & Music is an all inclusive studio that helps individuals with disabilities primarily in the world of art, but we also do community activities. We are developing a music appreciation program, and are discussing a program to work with Veterans as well. We work on socialization with our students, and enjoy anything fun that gets our students involved in activities with the community; we take the occasional field trip to museums, galleries, movies, zoos, outside shows, we even took a trip to Chicago! We are all inclusive and the foundation of our program is that our students are not just "clients" to us, but part of the Creative Awakenings family. We build a community here, and develop our program around our students needs.  The majority of our 16 students that we have have been with us for the last 10-16 years. They have strong bonds between each other, a couple are dating, some even consider one another family. Our program has been developed over the years around what they need and what works best for them. We've developed a system that allows our students to have full control over their art, 100% ownership of their work and the money they make from their sales, and a way that our students can own their own micro-enterprises. Many of our students own their own personal art micro-enterprises, that we have been helping them with. On May 18th 2018, our students' Self-Determination funding was taken from them to use in our studio. They were not asked, no one spoke with them about what they needed in their lives, our program was just attempted to be ripped away from them. They were all sent letters telling them that CMH would no longer allow them to use their SELF-DETERMINATION dollars to attend our program anymore. In this letter, our students were told that as of May 18th 2018, Self-D student funding would be cut from Creative Awakenings and they would all have to pay cash for the program that has been a huge part of their lives for so many years. Most of our students have been with us for 10-16 years. They were told that they could use their funds from a list of programs that CMH approved of, but we were no longer on that list. The foundation of Self-Determination is freedom of choice. Individuals who get self-determination funding have the freedom to choose a program or staffing that BEST FITS THEIR NEEDS. According to the law... Self-Determination Initiative: "Self-determination incorporates a set of concepts and values which underscore a core belief that people who require support from the public mental health system as a result of a disability should be able to define what they need in terms of the life they seek, should have access to meaningful choices, and control over their lives. Michigan's Self-Determination Initiative is aiming for major system change which will assure that services and supports for people are not only person-centered, but person-defined and person-controlled." The CHOICE for our students to use their SELF DETERMINATION funding to attend the program that most of them have been attending for 10-16yrs, was taken from them. They were not asked, and after they received their letters, they all protested. Many of them, and their families, filed that they felt their rights were being violated. They expressed they felt that no other programs "fit their needs" and still they were told they HAD to go somewhere else if they wanted a program that would get paid for for them. The letter sent to our students told them they could continue to attend our program IF THEY PAID us out of their own pockets, knowing very well our students could not afford to pay cash for a program.  Since May 18th, we have been allowing our students to attend our program at no charge to them personally. Both owners have been working for free, volunteering their time, and all money from private pay students and donations that have been coming in, has gone 100% to studio bills. We refuse to kick out our students based on the fact that their funding was ripped from them, and someone is trying to tell them they can not be here anymore. If they want to continue to stay in the program that has been a part of their life for the last 10-16yrs, where all of their friends are, where they feel most comfortable, safe and at home, we will continue to fight for them. We will continue to fight to stay open and fight to be here for them. We ask that people help us stay open, and just help cover the bills. To us it sounds like a lot, but maybe it's not to others. Anything above the base of the bills will go towards a scholarship for future students that can't afford to attend class, building the program, buying bulk supplies, and towards equipment. The same goes for the funds raised once our students' funding is reestablished. Along with cash donations, the studio always appreciates donations of supplies and equipment! We definitely could use some potters wheels and a glass fusing kiln. We'd also love to expand to help Veterans as well! That has recently become a new program that we have discussed developing. It is currently under construction. If anyone has any ideas or connection on how to start us with connections to help Veterans, feel free to message us on the Creative Awakenings Studio of Art Music Facebook page or to add Christen Kat Baxter on FB messenger! Yes, we are late starting our fundraising, but we have been working hard to fight this and filing appeals. Please share our cause with your friends and family, and please help us help our students! <3 We are not a non-profit organization, we are for-profit-for-our-students so they can keep 100% of what they make. We are not in this for us, we do this for them. Thanks so much for helping us help our students! We do this them. We as owners could go in another direction, but we do this for them and to help them. Please help us help them. Thanks and please SHARE!! Update: Our level 2 appeal to get funding back was denied on a technicality. They are claiming we were never a "contracted provider" (even though we had a contract as a provider, apparently it wasn't the right "type" to be able to file an appeal), so we can not file an appeal, we solely work for the students. However, all of our students have been filing complaints that they want to stay, which have all been brushed off or ignored completely. We will keep fighting for them. The gofundme dollars cover one year of expenses, in the meantime, if we reach our goal
+ Read More
In the spirit of #givingTuesday we ask that you consider Creative Awakenings today. <3 In the last week, out of the $1400 we still needed for rent, we have come up with or had donated to us another $700, and we still need $700 more to cover December's rent that is due on the 1st.

We did get our check finally from the Blaze Pizza fundraiser. It was $76.10. It was not as much as we were hoping for from that evening long event, but every little bit help! :-)

Please continue to keep our students in your prayers this holiday season! We do this for them!!! Please stop in and visit them sometime too. We are open Mon, Wed, Thurs, & Fri from 10-3pm, except we are starting late tomorrow. The students would LOVE to meet all of you, and you can see for yourself who you are supporting, an amazing group of individuals who love art and have found a place they call home, for which they keep fighting for!

326 W. Kalamazoo Ave Suite #105
Kalamazoo, MI. 49007
+ Read More
Hey Creative Awakenings Studio of Art Music supporters <3 We paid September's rent and the next big bill is the studio insurance, then October's rent!!! Thank you so very much for everyone's continued support! The shares, prayers, donations, checks, and future fundraising support is all so very much appreciated and helpful <3 Please continue to share our gofundme link <3 Every little bit helps. We could definitely use a lot of card stock and watercolor paper if anyone has any extra. Looking forward to hearing back from all of our new contacts made at Bronco Bash <3

We are creating a TEAM of individuals who will be gathering on a regular basis to strategize and brain storm different ways to help the students. We are discussing building a scholarship fund for the students who can't afford to pay for our classes. We are still also waiting to hear back from our new connections about helping Veterans as well <3 That's our latest update!!

326 W. Kalamazoo Ave Suite #105
Kalamazoo, Mi. 49007
+ Read More
Hey Creative Awakenings Studio of Art Music supporters <3 We paid September's rent and the next big bill is the studio insurance, then October's rent!!! Thank you so very much for everyone's continued support! The shares, prayers, donations, checks, and future fundraising support is all so very much appreciated and helpful <3 Please continue to share our gofundme link <3 Every little bit helps. We could definitely use a lot of card stock and watercolor paper if anyone has any extra. Looking forward to hearing back from all of our new contacts made at Bronco Bash <3

We are creating a TEAM of individuals who will be gathering on a regular basis to strategize and brain storm different ways to help the students. We are discussing building a scholarship fund for the students who can't afford to pay for our classes. We are still also waiting to hear back from our new connections about helping Veterans as well <3 That's our latest update!!

326 W. Kalamazoo Ave Suite #105
Kalamazoo, Mi. 49007
+ Read More
Eric King & the amazing guys at PKW wrestling organization are doing a fundraiser for Creative Awakenings on December 1st!!!! Mark it in your calendars! Location is still being arranged, but the date is set <3 These are some guys with a heart of GOLD!!! When the location is determined, I'll make the announcement here <3 Mark your calendars, support these great guys, and come support Creative Awakenings Studio of Art Music <3
We are also working on designing t-shirts currently as well!
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update

$2,830 of $69,819 goal

Raised by 42 people in 7 months
Created July 10, 2018
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
   Connect
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
$200
Anonymous
2 months ago
SV
$25
Shannon Vrobel
3 months ago
$25
Elizabeth Farner
3 months ago
SH
$30
Sheri Hillman
3 months ago
JB
$50
Jane Brady-Ertz
3 months ago
MC
$10
Megan Cole
4 months ago
VN
$100
Valerie Nuyen
5 months ago
SV
$100
Susan Vrobel
5 months ago
PM
$50
Peggy Malnight
5 months ago
MC
$25
Megan Cole
6 months ago
or
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.