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Under the Rainbow LGBTQIA+ Teen Art Club

Our "Under the Rainbow" LGBTQIA+ teen art club and support group has been picking up steam! We have partnered with Crooked Door Studios in Marysville to offer this group at the popular local art studio. I have 12 teens on the roster now and we've had as many as 7 show up for each meeting. We have been welcoming artists and guests and doing projects such as painting, jewelry making and drawing still life pictures. We had some therapy dogs visit a meeting this past month and we hope to have them back

again. We are also inviting LGBT community members and local mental health providers to visit and talk to the kids at our monthly pizza party. This month we had Wren Hawkins from the Mental Health and Recovery Board of Union County talk about Kaleidoscope meetings in their Marysville office and the Mosiac Project. She treated us to pizza and garlic bread from Domino's and stayed to hang out and talk to the teens about what sorts of LGBT youth community events they would be interested in participating in. The teens discussed classic movies we could watch together if we rented out the local Avalon theater.

I came up with the idea for "Under the Rainbow" as a cross between a support group and an art club to help draw kids in and form connections by engaging in creative projects together. In the future we hope to expand into other age groups and offer more educational opportunities and support for the parents as well. Creating a club for LGBT teens is something I have been wanting to do in memory of my daughter Stella since she passed away by suicide in 2018, so I am very excited that it is going so well and look forward to continuing this project into the school year and beyond.

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