Fundraiser to Help Expand Non-Profit’s Mental Health and Disability Programs

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- A local nonprofit is raising money to expand its mental health and disability program around central Iowa during National Mental Health Awareness Month.

Community Support Advocates is an organization that provides a free support service to people who have a disability or mental illness through art.

The nonprofit uses the Momentum: Art Studio inside Mainframe Studios to host free programs like art classes, provide free art supplies, and give program participants exposure to art shows and auctions.

Community Support Advocates President Christina Smith said, “I’ve seen art be extremely transformative for individuals with mental health issues. Whether it is about helping them communicate, whether it is about helping quiet their mind or giving them a creative community to connect.”

The nonprofit hosts ‘A Night With Momentum Speakeasy Art Auction’ Saturday to raise money for keeping its programs and art supplies free to people with disabilities and mental illnesses.

The money will also help to purchase a larger space to host more classes like drama, dance, and music.

Christina Smith said they are looking to raise $30,000.

“Research shows that when you are building when you are developing resilience those who have connections and have community are much more likely to build resilience. I think that is the number one thing that this art community, Momentum, is developing...provides,” Christina Smith said.

People will see artwork from artists who use the studio, as well as local artists that support the nonprofit.

Marshelle Smith said she has been using the services since it opened a year ago to help deal with her post-traumatic stress disorder.

“This has been an outlet for me. This has been a place where I can come and have comradery, fellowship and the art always transforms me,” Smith said.

People can pre-order tickets for $75 online. It includes a free drink ticket and gaming money. The deadline to pre-order is Thursday.

People can purchase $75 tickets at the door, but it will not include incentives.

‘A Night With Momentum Speakeasy Art Auction’ is Friday, May 10th at 7:00 p.m. It is located at The Conservatory in the East Village at 315 East 5th Street.

As of Wednesday night, the nonprofit had raised $12,100 toward its goal of $30,000.

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