WHATCOM COUNTY, WASH. (January 2018) – Twenty years ago, a group of concerned citizens mobilized to create the first domestic violence housing facility of its kind in our county that gave families a place to stabilize and rebuild their lives.
When it opened in 1998, Dorothy Place was unique in the sense that it provided not only a safe place for those in need but also a home.
“When Dorothy Place started, the only domestic violence shelter available in our community was a 5-bedroom home that had a 30-day maximum stay. Dorothy Place provided 22 private units with long term support for families to stay together,” said Opportunity Council Community Services Director, Debbie Paton.
This March, in honor of 20 years of Dorothy Place’s service to the community, the Opportunity Council is hosting the Art of Hope art challenge, exhibition and auction.
“A group of passionate people came together to create this safe haven and we are thrilled to have artists in our community bring the work of Dorothy Place to life,” said Summer Starr, Event Coordinator at the Opportunity Council. “Our goal is to raise awareness about the significance of Dorothy Place and to also provide an opportunity for our supporters to bring home a reminder of what they help make happen.”
A true community effort, the Art of Hope art challenge invites local artists to submit works that capture the hope that Dorothy Place offers its residents. Allied Arts Thrift Store is generously providing framing materials to artists who would need them. The art will be displayed in a public exhibition March 2nd – March 27th at Gallery Pegasus and early bids for the auction can be made during that time.
“This is a cause that is personally very meaningful. I have worked with women for many years, volunteered at shelters, helped them train for work, so that they could out of bad situations. We are doing finger painting in two locations now in Bellingham to help displaced women relax. So it wonderful that we are able to support this event,” said Gallery Pegasus owner, Heidi Wood.
Applications from artists to participate will be accepted until February 9th. Some of the artists who have confirmed their participation include Cooper Lanza, Shawn Pagels, and Meghan Yates.
The final art auction will take place during the Art of Hope fundraiser to be held Wednesday, March 28th from 5-7pm at Bellingham Technical College’s Settlemyer Hall and is open to the public via RSVP. To learn more about the art challenge or fundraiser contact Summer Starr at 360-734-5121 ext 212.