H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation grant helps expand mobile art program

old-town-artisan-studio-2A $25,000 grant from the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation will purchase a van for Old Town Artisan Studio, Inc., which is the latest recipient of a Coachella Valley Spotlight award.

“This transport van will expand our Mobile Art Program and primarily help us deliver finished pottery projects to our participants all over the valley who create gorgeous works of art, and then have to wait for the process of firing the pottery, etcetera,” said Diana Marlo Noll, interim Executive Director of Old Town Artisan Studio (OTAS). “We are extremely grateful to the Berger Foundation for this gift, which will help the efficiencies of our program immensely.”

More than 8,000 people, including groups from special education classes, special needs homes, senior centers and more come to OTAS throughout each year. The hands-on experiences are therapeutic and often expose participants to something completely new.

“Old Town Artisan Studio is a place where people of all ages can experience the healing power of art,” said Victory Grund, who founded the organization with her husband Richard in 2009. The couple envisioned the concept when they realized that funding for art programs had been slashed from school budgets and many private social service agencies.

“Whether people come to Old Town Artisan Studio or instructors come to them, the organization allows people to explore their creativity, and that is a gift,” said Catharine Reed, Program Director for the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation.

Old Town Artisan Studio is dedicated to providing positive art experiences for all Coachella Valley residents despite age, disability or financial disadvantage. Donations to Old Town Artisan Studio allow the organization to continue offering free programming or reduced fee levels for those with financial challenges.

“Adding a van to Old Town Artisan Studio’s Mobile Art Program will allow the organization to reach even more people who love this unique community service,” said Mike Stutz, General Manager of Gulf California Broadcast Company, which owns and operates CBS Local 2.

Along with the grant, Old Town Artisan Studio was featured on CBS Local 2’s “Eye on the Desert,” in public service announcements and on the www.cbslocal2.com website throughout the month of December. For more information call 760-777-1444 or visit www.oldtownartisanstudio.org. OTAS is located at 78-134 Calle Tampico, La Quinta, but in 2017, the organization will open a new 8,000 square-foot-facility at 78-045 Calle Cadiz, La Quinta.