In Egyptian Mythology, the Phoenix is a beautiful mythical bird that dies in flame and after being reduced to ashes is then restored to youth and beauty to once again bring forth new life. This project is a witness to the life that can arise from ashes through the power of creation.
The Phoenix Arts Project is part of a comprehensive mission of facilitating the interaction of people and art to build community across various dividing lines and nourish personal and social revitalization within our city. By making artistic exploration, expression, and education accessible to Springfield’s diverse population we seek to raise up new local artists who will join together with existing artists in giving witness to the redemptive possibilities for Springfield.
The Phoenix Arts Project gives Springfield’s marginalized residents therapeutic and hope-building respite from life’s hardships, as well as a face, voice, and connection with mainstream society by providing free art supplies and instruction and showcasing selected pieces for sale to the public
In 2006, Nehemiah Ministries launched the Phoenix Arts Project as a two month experiment in which free art supplies and space were provided to Springfield’s marginalized residents at Loaves and Fishes soup kitchen, followed by a show presenting selected pieces for sale to the public. The project improved the following year with the addition of free art instruction, the continuation of the project well beyond its scheduled ending date, steady increase in attendance and consistent participation and improvement in the quality of work. The year end show proved a success with significantly increased attendance and sales. 2008 brought about our first grant allowing us to establish the project as a permanent year around program, launch a second site at Worthington Street Shelter. and curate a 3rd annual show, featuring 120 new works of art, drawing 150 – 200 guests and selling more than a quarter of the displayed work along with additional prints. Now, in its 4th, year the project has developed into a community of creative hearts from diverse backgrounds, each with their own story. The project is witnessing tremendous artistic growth resulting in beautiful and inspirational work from regular members and the discovery of fresh innate talent from new faces. Together, this unique collective nurtures a vision of possibilities, inviting us to imagine, to hope, and to create together.
We are preparing to expand our artistic momentum towards the rebuilding of Springfield with efforts towards establishing a broadening artist collaborative and the Pulse Art Space and Lounge which will serve as a hub for our expanding artists community and creative work through out the city. We also aspire to establish several other sites that target both youth and adults across Springfield’s socio-economic spectrum, with a goal of establishing one in several key neighborhoods of Springfield including South End, North End, Mason Square, and Indian Orchard.