Whitlock: WHAM in Surprise needs your help today

Arts group victim of theft; trailer, supplies stolen

Guest Commentary by Connie Whitlock, Executive Director of WHAM
Posted 4/6/20

I am reaching out today asking for your help – to identify apprehend the culprits of a theft committed last night at our HQ in Surprise or, if needed, to help us replace what was stolen, so we can continue our mission in the community unabated.

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Whitlock: WHAM in Surprise needs your help today

Arts group victim of theft; trailer, supplies stolen

Posted

I am reaching out to our community today asking for your help – to identify apprehend the culprits of a theft committed last night at our HQ in Surprise or, if needed, to help us replace what was stolen, so we can continue our mission in the community unabated.

Overnight, someone broke into the WHAM property on Dysart Road, breaking the chain locks to steal the WHAM on Wheels Traveling Art Studio trailer and everything inside it, which included tents, tables, benches, art supplies, easels and cleaning supplies, along with lighting equipment.

Replacement of the trailer and materials will cost more than $6,000.

The portable studio setup enabled us to put on a variety of arts programs at facilities and community events, such as the Surprise Party in Surprise, Billy Moore Days in Avondale, Glendale Valentine’s Day, the iCount Festival in El Mirage, SciTech Festival in Buckeye, Dysart Schools Arts Festival, Heart & Sole 5K in Goodyear, Peoria Second Saturdays, Cancer Treatment Center of America in Goodyear … and many more.

Our mission at WHAM is to bring art to all – The mobile studio is not only part of our arts mission, it’s a huge part of our operating income, so we can continue with other programs, like arts programs for veterans, first responders, dementia patients, those with special needs and teens.

WHAM on Wheels is a traveling art studio we take to West Valley Cities community art events to teach art to the public. We’re headed into our busiest time of year with summer arts programs coming up and I hope you can help us solve this new problem.

If anyone has any information about the theft, who may have stolen the trailer or where the trailer can be found, please contact the Surprise Police Department at 623-222-4000 or the El Mirage Police Department at 623-500-3000.

Otherwise, as a nonprofit agency, we do not have the deep pockets to just brush off this kind of loss and we must rely on your help to keep going. Please donate to WHAM to help us continue our arts mission in the West Valley.

If you have any tips on the theft or wish to make a donation or become a volunteer at WHAM, please contact me at: connie.whitlock@wham-art.org.

Cards for Seniors program

Despite the setback, we are continuing our Cards for Seniors campaign, which we started on March 17.

We’ve been gathering in groups of 6 to 8 people at a time a to make uplifting cards to be delivered to senior residents in our communities, who are sequestered at home due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The cards are isolated for 48 hours; therefore, if infected, the virus dies on paper and cardboard within 24 hours.

Program participants learn how important it is to give back to their communities and care for others around them; and the have fun doing something constructive. Please join us to help and make someone’s day a little brighter.

Though we are closed now do to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are asking for donations for supplies as well as your time and effort to help make the cards.

You can drop off your completed cards or donations at WHAM, 16560 N. Dysart Road, Surprise. There is a drop box labeled “Seniors Cards” on the back patio; please deposit there.

You can get in touch by emailing Mary Witkowski at desertmoonstudio@gmail.com or myself at connie.whitlock@wham-art.org.

Learn more at www.wham-art.org.

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