D.A.P - The Disabled Artist Project

About the Project Creator:

 

My name is Michelle Walsh and I am a Mom, therapist, Certified Reiki Master, and disabled artist out of NJ. I became disabled and medically retired from the Department of Veterans Affairs after having brain surgery in 2019 for Chiari Malformation. As a now disabled individual, art and jewelry is something that has helped me cope with my chronic illnesses and PTSD. I had the blessing of being able to sell my jewelry in some stores and I want to help support other disabled or disadvantaged creators. I know firsthand the challenge of trying to run a small business, and I know many disabled and disadvantaged creators depend on selling their goods as a source of income. 

 

   Prior to my brain surgery I had wanted to create a wellness faire to honor the memory of a veteran who had lost his life due to the above. That didn’t happen due to my illness but now is the time to honor not only this special person, but anyone who has lost their life due to mental illness, chronic illness, substance abuse, or physical disabilities. I have full consent to disclose this from his wife and she fully supports all of our efforts to honor him and spread awareness. I will be making a special item specifically in honor of this amazing soul. 

 

The Amazing Project That Will Be Created!

 

My project is called “The D.A.P healing box” which will include items specifically made by disabled creators that meet the above criteria. I would like to create as much variety as possible. The healing boxes will be dedicated to honoring those that lost their lives due to their illnesses or disabilities. 


My vision has changed and I plan to also create a children’s box now called Marley’s box! These will be children’s items that are handmade by disabled creators all kiddos will enjoy! There will be informational items and resources for families included as well. I know my kids are excited to help! The first children’s item will be Marley’s magic wand which I am so excited to create in her honor of this beautiful and inspiring child. 


These boxes would help these disabled sellers get their name out there and hopefully drum up future business for their small business projects. It also will include resources for mental health, substance abuse, physically disabled folks, veterans, and children and families. 


All of the boxes will be a mix of items again as it is dependent on what we get in donations and how much each artist can create for us. The goal is to have this be fun so the artists don’t feel rushed to create by a particular date although October is ideal.  Being a disabled artist myself I know I am guilty of overdoing it which does not help me best manage my health conditions. 


A minimum of 10% from the proceeds of the boxes we sell will go directly to Island Therapy LLC in Linwood NJ to put towards funding a group for those that can’t afford mental health treatment. Island Therapy provides treatment for individuals, couples, families, and children. They also have a variety of workshops available and offer meditation, reiki, and other alternative healing modalities as well. I can’t express how invaluable their services have been to me personally. 


We want to be able to pay these incredible creators as much as possible for their items. The amount of boxes available for purchase depends on the number of creators and available funds. Donations of any kind are also being accepted for these boxes so long as they are appropriate for what we are creating. 

The percentage donated is dependent  upon the  donation funds, number of creators we have that want to participate, and how many boxes we can make. The more participants and boxes, the more we can donate! 

 

I will keep you posted every step of the way!

 

For the Artists and Creators:

 

am so happy to meet you and look forward to supporting your amazing creations and helping spread the word about your talents! Below is a link for the application. We put self-care first and want you to have plenty of time to create and not have to stress! You do not need to create 100 products for us! The boxes will be a mix of creations from various creators. My hope is to have 50

Boxes for children and 50 for adults to start although I feel I’m my heart we can do more! This project is only open to folks in the US,



Here is the Project Application Form for Disabled Artists 

 

Timeline:

 

 Our timeline for this is early October 2022.  I have the pleasure of knowing many talented creators who love Halloween and Autumn like myself so we want our customers to have plenty of time to rock the spooky goods!

 

Future customers:

 

Please see my contact info below for when the orders will open up and continue to check in for updates and what they will include (it will be a surprise and a magical mix!). 

 

About the Logo:

 

This moon collage was made by me using items I use in my jewelry and art. It represents my faith and spirituality which has brought me to this point where I am able to coordinate such an impactful project. I wanted to make something that I needed to cut as I had difficulty with fine motor skills as a child due to the Chiari Malformation I unknowing had at the time. I made the logo and artwork the day this will be kick off upon reflecting on my journey. 

 

A Special Thank You:

 

I want to thank all my family and friends who have stood behind me every step of the way and have supported all my art and creations (even when it was cut badly lol thanks Mom!).  My husband Bruce who loves and supports all I do! I want to also thank my friend Mallory from the small business @darkamethystmoon as she helped with bouncing ideas off of and also has been enthusiastic from the start. She is so graciously donating supplies for the boxes and will be helping me along the way! Please check out her magical jewelry! 

  I also want to thank my dear friend Lisa who was the first to donate and also created the name! How incredible is that?! It makes my heart so happy that she created the name of the project which makes it more special to me. Another shout out to Dave who has offered to help and clicked the donate button early!  I love and appreciate you all so much!

 

Final Words:

 

Thank you for your donation which will mean the world to so many people. If you know of anyone who fits this criteria and would be interested in participating, please have them reach out to me and fill out an application linked below.  You can find me on [email redacted]ing and my email is [email redacted].  If you are an organization that provides services for our creators and customers and would like to donate resources of any kind please reach out! I’ll take all the help I can get!


Please help get the word out to support this incredibly special project. I’ll be shouting it from the rooftops so be prepared to see purple hair everywhere

 

Organizer

Michelle Walsh 
Organizer
Woodbine, NJ

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