COVID Spring 2020 :
One thing none of us was expecting was a global pandemic that would greatly impact our societies the way it has. The final months of Work of Art’s 20 have provided both challenges and opportunities, in the wake of a global pandemic, for WOA and its community. As a program rooted in strong community and interpersonal support, it proved both a difficult transition to lose in-person relationship-building; but, in turn provided a unique chance to explore and experiment using innovate ways that still provided the same, valuable resources, connections, and opportunities in a different context. Adapting to this abrupt change, Work of Art and its community was able to swiftly lead by example in switching to fully virtual programming; inspire participants, parents and our community; and connect to one another by providing a whole new level of support. Work of Art being such a determined, caring, and strong community, this pivoting came quickly and easily. The ability to still deliver on our mission was there, given our resilient network and organizational foundation – the experiences and resources themselves just looked slightly different in how they were accessed.
Carlisah, participant HSHS
From April 1st through the remainder of our program year, the mentees, mentors, and wider Work of Art community were able to experience virtual workshops around coping with stress, career counseling, influencing through social media, leadership skill-building, and financial literacy coupled with a home tour. On top of these virtual personal and financial resource-building opportunities, Work of Art also continued to provide holistic and authentic community connections through live dance parties, social media share-outs, and even a new virtual series called “You and Me” featuring Intimate, personal, and raw conversations to create a deeper understanding of ourselves, communities, and the world. All of this was
possible due to a sustainable organizational foundation; flexible, supportive,
and engaged leadership; and an increased need for deep community connection at a time when distance made that more challenging.