In 2016, Free Arts moved into its new home on Camelback Road, but the office building was dated, non-descript, and painted in dark gray. A year later, Free Arts purchased the building and began planning its transformation into a bigger and better space for the children we serve. Renovations began in April 2019 and finished in January 2020 with plans for a grand opening soon to follow…
Then COVID hit in March. So Free Arts put the grand opening for the building on hold.
After careful consideration, Free Arts was finally ready to launch the long-awaited unveiling of our renovated building, The Bob & Renee Parsons Place for Art and Transformation two years later. Instead of a large-scale, gala-style gathering, staff decided to organize a series of small-group tours throughout 2022 called Transformation Celebration presented by Desert Financial Credit Union. This event series is dedicated to the diverse community committed to supporting children and teens who have experienced trauma. By bringing together friends, both old and new, we hope to strengthen this community and present Parsons Place as a communal resource for children, families, and partners.
Each day of Transformation Celebration features 3-4 tours, and each tour is an hour and a half long for 20 attendees. Tours showcase the upgraded facilities and provide interactive ways to learn about our work, such as intentional art activities and creative volunteer projects. Complimentary food and beverages are also provided. Attendance is free, but RSVP is required through Eventbrite due to the limited group size.
The first Transformation Celebration was on Friday, January 28, 2022. Some attendees were neighbors in the area who had watched the construction project and wanted to learn more. Even some familiar faces from Desert Financial Credit Union came out to support the event as hospitality volunteers. To provide multiple perspectives on the space and our programs, tours were led by volunteer mentors, alumni, and staff. Attendees also participated in two activities from our programs, including drumming sessions facilitated by professional teaching artists Mario Barela and Frank Thompson. At the end of each tour, attendees came away excited and eager to get more involved with Free Arts.
The next events are scheduled for March 26, May 13, and May 14. Come join us by registering here: http://bit.ly/FreeArtsTransformation.
A special thank-you to the partners who made this milestone possible. The building purchase and renovation were funded by the generous donors of the Building Hope Capital Campaign, which included $2.5 million from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation.