Folk Art. You don’t need years of formal training, you don’t need expensive materials, you don’t need a studio, an agent, or a gallery.

Folk art is people. People with an idea to express, a feeling to share, and maybe some hard-won skills that they want to share as well. Folk art is a way to communicate with other people who want to connect and express their own ideas. It’s got the word “folk” right there in the name, after all.

FolkTime is a Portland non-profit that helps connect people who are sharing the experience of living with mental illness, by offering peer support and community-based activities, and a wide variety of programs and services. FolkTime took its name from the observation that arts and crafts activities really brought people together. They have found a way to help draw people out of isolation.

All this week, we are interviewing FolkTime folks. Monday, Jacob Thom interviewed  Samantha Thayer-Osborne, who is currently the Lead for Health Resilience Peer Support, one of FolkTime’s two peer-specialists who work to promote overall health including all aspects of mental, physical, and dental health. Samantha has worked in nearly every clinical setting where FolkTime provides peer-support.

Tuesday we met Randal Wyatt and Leah Hunter, who manage the Open Minds, Open Doors (OMOD), an anti-stigma campaign that includes “Be the One” and “Yes I Can,” a creative OMOD Campaign that teaches and encourages teens to create films as a way to tell their stories and express issues they face, creating a platform to reach others who may be suffering in isolation.

Wednesday we talked with Gloria Giddens, one of FolkTime’s longest-term employees and the Program Manager of FolkTime’s flagship program, the NE Portland Social Center, which currently hosts roughly 110 members four days a week, offering hot meals, a weekly food distribution program, arts, crafts, games and, above all else, community.  She was with her Supervisor, Maria Gargano, who supervises 4 of FolkTime’s Social Programs, NE, Oregon City, Rural Outreach, and Veterans Connection. These social programs saves lives, and Gloria is a remarkable program manager as she too got her life back thanks to the community and socialization at this NE Portland Social Center years ago.

Sean Marten

Sean Marten is the PRP Production Manager, On Air Talent, and Late Night Movie Reviewer.
Please follow and like us:
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *