Nonprofit of the Week: Passion Works Studio

Organization: Passion Works Studio

Location: Athens, Ohio

Mission: “To inspire and liberate the human spirit through the arts.”

Regions of Service: Athens and beyond

About the cause:

According to the American Community Survey, about 12.8% of American people had disabilities in 2016. More than half of people experiencing a disability are of the working-age according to the U.S. Census Bureau. People that experience developmental disabilities are often offered assembly-style work if given the opportunity.

About the organization: 

Passion Works Studio is a community arts center located in the foothills of Appalachia. At Passion Works, professional artists with developmental differences create art in a welcoming space with quality materials.

Passion Works strays from art studio norms in the way it encourages the visibility of artists with developmental disabilities and implements an inclusive framework while encouraging schools, adult day programs, and business leaders to do the same.

What they do:

At Passion Works, artists design product lines, create public artwork, collaborate with students and faculty at Ohio University, and produce Passion Flowers – the Official Flower of Athens.

The nonprofit has also developed the “Creative Abundance Model,” which is a 12-stage framework for reforming segregated institutional places (such as universities and art spaces) into inclusive community spaces. The model featured in the PBS documentary “Creative Abundance” includes “shifting organizational culture from control and structure to responsive exploration,” according to their website.

Impact:

Since the beginning, more than 26,000 hand-painted flowers have been made from up-cycled aluminum newspaper printing plates sold internationally.