Hammer Residences, a nonprofit organization that serves individuals with disabilities, has received a generous grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board (MSAB) of nearly $14k. This grant will be to be used in partnership with Minnetonka Center for the Arts (MCFTA) for an Artist Partner program that seeks to engage the space between a specialized class and a class without support.
Too often programming for people with disabilities doesn’t offer a chance to interact with non-disabled people in an everyday setting. On the flip side, many non-disabled people haven’t had the opportunity to engage with people with disabilities and to discover the strengths in these individuals that they see every day at Hammer. Believing in the importance of artistic expression as a cornerstone for living a full life, both Hammer and MCFTA have been able to join in shared values to try a new approach to arts education through an Artist Partner program model.
These partnerships will pair a Hammer resident who has self-identified as an artist, with a committed, arts-interested volunteer. Program participants will be selected through an application process. If you are interested in being involved in one of these two sessions, you may apply at Hammer.org/artist-partners. Applications will be accepted through November 15, 2019. The first art session, ceramics, starts in January and the second session, drawing and painting, begins in March.
During one of the two art sessions (ceramics, drawing, and painting), eight artist partners (16 people) will work side-by-side for eight weeks, each creating their own artwork, and offering encouragement and support throughout the process. The classes will be held four weeks at Hammer Residences and four weeks at MCFTA, both facilities in Wayzata.
By bringing arts-interested people of different abilities together in a collaborative and supportive setting, it is the goal of this program to engage these communities in ways that benefit and reward every participant.
  • Applications for Artist Partners requested by November 15, 2019
  • Session 1: Ceramics January 9 – February 27 on Thursday nights
  • Session 2: Drawing and Painting March 5 – April 23 on Thursday nights
  • Art exhibit May 2020 (details TBD)


Hammer Residences, Inc. Since opening its doors in 1923, Hammer has helped thousands of adults and children with developmental disabilities experience life to its fullest. Founder Alvina Hammer believed that individuals with disabilities had the right to lead full lives in a loving atmosphere where they would feel secure and develop self-confidence. Hammer was one of only two Minnesota organizations at that time to offer people with disabilities the opportunity to thrive in a school and home setting. Today, Hammer Residences, Inc. provides residential and customized support services, including In-Home Support, Support Planning, and Case Management to more than 1,600 people throughout the state. To learn more about Hammer visit Hammer.org.


Hammer, Minnetonka Center for the Arts empower artists with disabilities [Jason Jenkins/Sun Sailor March 5, 2020]

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