Katie Roberts, Events & Programs Manager for Health Services, is the OMA team leader at Twin Towers in Cincinnati, OH. Katie collaborates with Kimberly Stone-Littner and Erich Coates, also OMA trained facilitators there, to conduct OMA sessions and host OMA art shows and silent auctions, since 2015.
Together, they also developed two new projects: one with colored dye and shaving cream (Marbling Ink), and another with yarn and acrylic paint (Yarn Painting).
Unique Art Auction:
To assist with funding needs, Katie introduced a silent auction at the conclusion of the Art Show Ceremony. Residents are asked if they would like to donate one of their pieces from the session and then given a donation form to sign. Usually, 15-25 pieces are sold. What is unique about this auction is that at the end of the opening reception, the OMA artist presents his/her artwork to the winning bidder. This is a priceless experience. Family, volunteers, and artists alike are full of pride and thankful to play a part in supporting the program.
Corsages using OMA art; distributed at the art show.
Initially, Katie recruited fellow staff members as OMA partners for the residents. Many pitched in, including their admissions manager, dining director, administrator, social worker, executive director’s assistant, and chaplain. This experience allowed associates to better understand their residents by working directly with the population they serve.
For the next sessions, Katie recruited college students by contacting the University of Cincinnati’s Center for Community Engagement and the College of Allied Health Sciences. This experience has been beneficial to the students. One student explained: “The relationship I developed with my artist meant so much to me. She taught me so much within the few weeks together. She opened up to a complete stranger about her life, she trusted my opinions, and she wanted me to be a part of her experience. I wish the program was longer, so I could spend more time with her doing something she really enjoyed and opened up to!”
“Let’s add glitter. Let’s live dangerously.” – OMA Artist
Katie recommends participating at Volunteer Fairs. While it can be rather time consuming, it is important to establish relationships with professors and community leaders and remain flexible to work with the students’ schedules.
Katie’s goal is to offer OMA sessions year-round (not only in the spring) and to offer more OMA-4-1 (OMA for one) sessions for isolated Twin Towers residents.