The Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation

GO! Arts provides professionally taught art classes to low-income seniors.

Grant Information
Categories Arts , Education
Location South Texas
Cycle Year 2010
Organization Information
Organization Name (provided by applicant) Bihl Haus Arts, Inc.
Organization Name (provided by automatic EIN validation)
Contact Information
Contact Name Kellen Kee mcintyre, phd
Phone 210-732-3502
P.O. Box 100806
San Antonio
Additional Information
Used for An award would support art, creative writing, and yoga classs taught by professional artist-teachers to low-income seniors--primarily Latinas--who reside at Primrose at Monticello Park Senior Apartments, the senior community where Bihl Haus Arts is located. Bihl Haus Arts is the only professional nonprofit art gallery on the premises of 100% senior affordabl housing in the U.S. Funds would help pay for teachers and art supplies.
Benefits Our Mission--"Creating Community through the Arts"--is founded on the belief that each person, when given an opportunity, will achieve significant personal, social, and cultural growth through the arts. To support its mission, Bihl Haus Arts nurtures and promotes the work of diverse visual and cultural artists in San Antonio; fosters artistic excellence and intergenerational and multicultural understanding and awareness; builds collaborations with other cultural and social service organizations to maximize access to collective resources; and creates community between seniors enrolled in the GO! Arts Program and area established and emerging artists, members of surrounding neighborhoods, and the global art culture.
Proposal Description The GO! Arts Program improves the lives of and helps elderly participants--"the Goldens"--become healthier and more self-reliant.

There are more than 500 residents at Primrose, many of whom participate in Bihl Haus Arts programs
and activities. Many residents move to Primrose after suffering a traumatic event in their lives--loss of a
spouse, job, or home, and the onset of disease and chronic health problems. Many can no
longer drive, which results in isolation. Because of their limited resources, opportunities for
extracurricular activities are limited. This can lead to isolation, extreme loneliness, depression, and failing
health. Recent studies have shown that community-based senior art programs run by professional artists
promote health and prevent disease. This has revealed a positive impact on maintaining independence
and on reducing dependence, and therefore appears to reduce risk factors that drive the need for
long-term care.

Specifically, this program for elderly persons uses the fine arts and yoga to enhance quality of life and to support health and wellness. The Goldens are stimulated by the Bihl Haus gallery environment of changing exhibitions that feature wellknown local and international artists. They have opportunities to engage not only with the work, but with the artists themselves through guest artist visits to the art classes, mini-lectures, and other classroom activities. Goldens exhibit annually at Bihl Haus, and also regularly submit work to both juried and nonjuried exhibitions at other institutions (Carver Cultural Center, Elmira Cisneros Senior Center, Blue Star, UTHSC Dolph Briscoe Library, etc. . .), which increases feelings of self esteem and pride. Many of theGoldens expand their art experience and education by volunteering as Bihl Haus Arts Docents and they actively seek out new Primrose residents with whom they empathize and understand their feelings of displacement and isolation. As a result, the Program is constantly growing and changing. Bihl Haus Arts Docents proudly wear their docent badges and serve as ambassadors-at-large for the gallery.

We will know the program is successful if the Goldens continue to show positive changes consistent with
results of the 2009 UTHSCSA School of Nursing/UTSA Dept. of Anthropology study in which they
participated and that was designed specifically for the GO! Arts Program. 100% of participating seniors experienced positive changes--emotional, physical, mental, spiritual--and maintained or increased their level of independence. We anticipate that outcome-based evaluations to be administered in 2010-2011 will reflect similar results.