BRISTOL – As part of a coalition seeking to create a movement of change, artists and educational organizations gathered Saturday on the second floor of 61 East Main St. to paint a mural as a means of spreading awareness about autism spectrum disorder.
"Big Bro & Sis Creative Art Mural Extravaganza," as the event was called, was put on by the Famiglia D’Oro IV Artists Entertainment Studios and Save Our Schools for Our Kids Foundation in partnership with The Social Chase. Painters started working Friday and on into the weekend. On Sunday, they are anticipated to have their work judged to receive recognitions.
“The vision came out of a love of art,” said Yvonne Renee Davis, president of Save Our Schools for Our Kids Foundation. “The founder would help teach art in public schools with his daughter and go to school with her every day. The love of art and education became very important to him.”
Save Our Schools for Our Kids Foundation was started in 2018, continued Davis, and deals with providing opportunities, resources and career pathways for youth. Since July of 2020, the group has helped feed 118,000 families in three states, she said.
“The idea came to him to have a mural art extravaganza with artists,” said Davis of Donald Greene Jr., founder of the Save Our Schools for Our Kids Foundation and Famiglia D’Oro IV Artists Entertainment Studios.
A decision was made to get a group of youth together from ages five and above to spread awareness about those living with autism awareness disorder, and in particular children of color, said Davis.
“They don’t always have the resources or opportunities to get what they need to be able to function, beyond what their parents give them,” she continued.
At Famiglia D’Oro IV Artists Entertainment Studios, Greene runs a multimedia operation that records, shoots video, practices photography, magazine production and more. Davis, herself, has years of television and media expertise having worked in federal government and broadcast news outlets.
“It’s all part of one mission,” said Greene. “My nonprofit is the center of everything and I use my businesses to create sustainability toward my nonprofit. Everything we’re doing here is a seed that we’re going to plant in other communities.”
Helen Taylor and Chase Taylor, of The Social Chase, work to organize events that allow for young adults and teens on the autism spectrum disorder to have fun and be themselves. Chase is Helen’s son and also an individual living with autism spectrum disorder.
Chase said he enjoyed painting characters that he’s created and admired as part of the Big Bro & Sis Creative Art Mural Extravaganza. Those characters are part of an educational book series authored by himself called “The Letter Critters.”
“I think this is a wonderful event,” said Helen. “We do a lot of different activities. We thought this would be a great opportunity for kids to express themselves. When I told them (Social Chase families) about it, I said I'd give them a ride. They said yes. They’re here and they’re happy. As long as they’re happy, I’ll take them wherever they want to go.”