Nan Ross founded Spindleworks with the hopes of helping those with disabilities find a voice through art. She wanted their fears, dreams, ideas, and opinions to be heard. Almost 40 years later, we are still striving towards that goal; while we support their creative expression we also encourage the artists to speak up and get involved, and we work to engage the community in listening and learning. We have spent the last few months in particular trying to get the word out about the proposed changes to funding that will be implemented next year and pose a major threat to our parent agency, Independence Association. This week, as we have started to hear cardinals, their clear voices cutting through the sleepy mornings, we are also feeling heard by the community in a new surge of support. Last week we received a check from a group of students from Brunswick Junior High School who won a “penny slam” and decided to donate the winnings to Spindleworks. Our friends at Toad & Co are having a warehouse sale, part of the proceeds of which will be donated to Spindleworks (find out more here). Our friend Amanda Walden is hosting a pay what you can Laughter Yoga workshop at Jai Yoga in Brunswick on May 1st and donating the proceeds to Spindleworks. There is a wonderful exhibit at Frontier Café right now, a collaborative portrait project led by Susan Bickford. One of the pieces will be raffled off and the proceeds will in part be donated to Spindleworks. And it doesn’t stop there. Just after tax day, we received the amazing news that we have been chosen to receive a $30,000 grant from the Quimby Family Foundation. Yes, we are feeling heard. And we are feeling grateful. Yet even with this outpouring of support, there is more work to do. Today, Anna McDougal stood in the Hall of Flags in Augusta and spoke her mind about a proposed bill that would limit the opportunities have to provide input on changes that impact the services she and others with disabilities receive. It is a good thing the artists have found their voice, loud and clear as the cardinal’s.