June 2019
With the sun finally shining here in Philly, it’s time to get inspired and share what summer means to you in our annual ‘summer sNAPs’ contest. It’s as easy as 1 … 2 … 3! So snap some pics showing us what summer means to you and share them with us using #napsummersnaps.

Did we mention there will be prizes?!? Three randomly selected participants will each receive an awesome prize package (sneak peaks coming soon!) to help them make the most out of their summer!

We are grateful to have so many long running National Arts Program Exhibits across the country and Union County, New Jersey is one of them. Not only has the show been occurring annually for eighteen years, but coordinator Libby Reid has been there from the start. When an art exhibit that includes artists of all ages and levels of experience goes on for so many consecutive years you get the benefit of watching artists and their families grow and change. Libby says she take great pleasure in seeing the progress of both the youth and adult artists.

This year Libby hung a total of 149 artworks in Liberty Hall Center. The exhibiting artists represented twenty-five departments and offices. They also invited volunteers of county programs along with retirees and their families and had thirty people enter the show from programs such as the Medical Reserve Corp, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Trail Steward and Pearl Street Gallery. 

The awards reception was held on May 1st and included refreshments, a four-member band and they had a photographer on hand to document the event. Everyone chatted and took in the art while appreciating the talents of the jazz band. Libby said that she always hears from the artists, adults and children, how much they enjoy this event and how they look forward to the show every year and enjoy planning their next entries.
The Dr. Robert L.A. Keeley Healing Arts Program has been utilizing the arts to improve the healing environment at Carilion Clinic since their launch in 2013. While the idea of art in hospitals is not necessarily new, the term ‘healing arts’ has taken on more significance than the once commonly associated term of art therapy. Healing arts differs from art therapy as it expands from the creation of art to include the actual experiencing of art in ones surrounding environment. By allowing someone to just experience art, the viewer is set free of any preset expectations or goals.

The Healing Arts Program recognized the need for these types of artistic experiences and held their very first NAP exhibit featuring artwork from employees and their family members in the Spring of 2014, just shortly after they were established. Now in their sixth year, the event continues to be a program highlight and has become a true source of pride for those who participate. Coordinator Katie Biddle mentioned that during the reception, “we heard our artists and their family members commenting on the value of this opportunity to publicly share creativity as well as the chance to come together at the reception and honor one another.” Even those who did not win awards expressed a sense of honor to be participating in the exhibit proving that the exhibit helps to foster a safe space for sharing one’s personal creations and that everyone’s talents are worthy of being celebrated.