A message from Executive Director Jane Collins
Dear Heard supporter,
Welcome to our first Heard annual report! We are eager to share this with you because you helped get us here. Never did we imagine, when we held our first writing class in the basement of Historic Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia, in January 2017, how far-reaching and impactful Heard would be!
We thank you.
We envisioned that writing class as a safe space for adults in need to express themselves. And even that took eight months to plan. We had no idea how much we would grow, how many people we would positively impact, and how many arts we would offer in 2022.
Our growth was organic. Our writing classes seemed to work, we said, so why not try improvisation? By the end of 2017, 196 people (some more than once) attended our 28 classes. We were ecstatic!
Who could have imagined that as 2021 ended, despite COVID’s wrecking- ball attempt to shut us down, we held a record 216 classes with 1,834 non- unique participants, and two writing contests at two area detention centers?
As we share our story and successes with you, please meet another population we serve – our professional, deeply committed, and highly empathetic artists who help our clients create, imagine, play, explore, and dream in a safe, trusting space.
Our success is truly a team effort. Our artists, program partners, donors, and each of you all work together to help bring creativity and confidence to those we serve. As one client said, “Thank you for making me feel like a human.”
Please enjoy our report and take a moment to appreciate yourself for the good you have brought to the world.