Art Leads to a Healthier Community

Art Leads to a Healthier Community

IBA’s Residents Services Program provides many services our residents need. Among these, art classes and workshops take a significant place. Residents need assistance finding and maintaining their homes, they need help with finances and paperwork, and they also need activities that will improve their mental health and give them a general sense of well-being. Painting classes do just this, and they are a big favorite among residents.

This year, thanks to a much-appreciated grant from the Age Strong Commission, artist Silvina Ibañez taught a six-sessions painting class. At the end of the course, the residents displayed their artwork in an exhibit open to the public.

Why are these art classes so important?

Involvement in art classes acts as a coping strategy, providing distraction and the release of emotions. Attending art classes can help reduce stress, promote self-exploration and even serve as practice in dealing with frustration and failure.

“Painting classes help me relax my mind and I feel less anxious.”

[Program participant]

Engaging in personally meaningful activities can significantly improve a person’s health. By focusing the mind on one thing—such as painting—participants can let go of their problems and temporarily relieve stress and anxiety, which helps improve mental health. With a positive sense of health and well-being, quality of life improves. Painting is known to be therapeutic and may serve as a buffer for negative emotions.

“Painting classes have helped me with my depression. The paintings open my mind and allow me to travel through moments of true happiness."

[Program participant]

Engaging in arts and crafts activities fosters joy, connection to others, self-development through acquiring knowledge and learning new skills, and a sense of contributing to society.

"I have learned from famous painters like Monet, that I didn't even know existed."

[Program participant]

Taking part in these classes provides the opportunity to socialize with others who have shared interests and leads to inspiration and praise from instructors and other group members.

This connection to others, whether family members, friends, or the community, is vital to maintaining mental health.

“I don't like to leave the house but the painting classes motivate me to go out and share with my neighbors. The painting teacher is very good and patient with us.”

[Program participant]

Other benefits of painting classes might include the satisfaction of overcoming a challenge and a sense of achievement. Participation might also create increased involvement in community groups, which leads to greater awareness of other community members and events.

"I am amazed at what I can do with my hands and my imagination through canvas ...”

[Program participant]

As previously mentioned, involvement in community arts programs has many personal benefits and can serve as inspiration and motivation to engage further in the arts. That is why it is a priority for IBA’s Resident Services Program to provide these activities to its residents.

We hope you can help us continue providing these invaluable arts programs for Villa Victoria’s residents. To donate, please visit, or contact Jennifer Lopez at