More painting possible at Iowa City nonprofit thanks to giving campaign

An Iowa City non-profit that helps children now has thousands of dollars worth of art supplies, thanks to a local business.
Published: Jan. 7, 2023 at 11:32 PM CST
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa City nonprofit United Action for Youth has thousands of more dollars of art supplies thanks to a giving campaign at a local business.

During the holiday season at the end of 2022, the Blick store just a few blocks away from UAY’s Youth Center asked customers if they wanted to make a donation to the nonprofit. The store ended up collecting about 500 donations, totaling close to $14,000.

That’s far, far larger than the nonprofit’s art budget, which is “around $1,000 a year,” according to Lauren Linahon, Arts Program Coordinator UAY.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Linahon said. “Like, I haven’t cried yet.”

She added their normally small budget means “we have to, like, lock up the good stuff, you know what I mean?”

“We have to keep the canvases away for, like, a special workshop, or we have to, like, hide the good markers, you know what I mean? And so now with this donation, we’re going to be able to have all these things out. And we’re not going to have to like, worry about, you know, not having something,” Linahon said.

The giving campaign at Blick for UAY has been going on for several years, but it’s never collected this amount of money.

12-year-old Fenix Slemmons was one of the kids at the Youth Center when TV9 visited Saturday. They said they visit UAY “three or two times a week” and painting is one of the things they do when they visit.

“With art, it’s really good to like distract your mind off of things,” Slemmons said.