For more than 30 years, Zoom Group has been inspiring people of all abilities to pursue their passions. At Studioworks, Zoom Group’s art studio and gallery, the organization brings together creative individuals to share their gifts and beautify the city. To learn more about their work, we spoke with StudioWorks Lead Site Coordinator Ethan Osman.
Zoom Group’s mission is to empower, educate and employ individuals of all abilities. “At Studioworks, we connect community through creativity,” said Osman. “Our main goals are to support artists in their creative expression and foster inclusion in the arts community. Each artist is on their own creative path, although most of the work offered includes painting, drawing, ceramics, embroidery, crocheting, photography and printmaking.”
“We currently support about 50 artists, but we are working hard to grow,” Osman explained. “Over the years, we have seen just how impactful our program is, and we want to provide that opportunity to as many people as possible. We’re supporting people from nearly every zip code in Jefferson County as well as some from Oldham and Spencer County. It’s very important to recognize how much hard work has gone into this program. We have eight full-time staff and a number of regular volunteers who work tirelessly to provide this unparalleled program to people with disabilities in our community.”
How They Help
Throughout the last 33 years, Zoom Group has provided a variety of services to the community. Currently, their core programs include:
StudioWorks – Zoom Group’s flagship program focused on creative arts.
ZoomWorks – More than 70 individuals with disabilities are employed through partnerships with UPS and others in their Commercial Operations program. Also, Zoom Group maintains an Ability One contract at the Robley Rex VA Medical Center providing laundry, maintenance and janitorial and grounds services. In addition to these offerings, Zoom Group continues to offer competitive and integrated employment options for people with disabilities.
LifeWorks – Provides choices of meaningful activities to promote social interaction as well as fun and exciting experiences for people with a range of abilities. LifeWorks operates in two locations, the Highlands and Jeffersontown. Here, Zoom Group presents, in smaller settings, a safe and productive environment with continuous support for individuals to assist them in engaging in meaningful activities. LifeWorks participants also enjoy giving back to the community through partnerships with Meals on Wheels and Dare to Care.
ZoomU – One of the newest additions to Zoom Group’s offerings. ZoomU, founded on the premise of higher education, provides courses in job search, interviewing skills, entrepreneurial leadership, self-advocacy, empowerment, soft skills and other business acumen. For families, ZoomU offers seminars on SSI/SSDI, the Stable Act, self-advocacy, guardianship and more.
Why It Matters
“StudioWorks is not only a place where artists can create their work,” Osman affirmed. “It is also a community destination. Coming up, people can join us for Bardstown Road Aglow on Dec. 1 to visit Santa, decorate cookies and purchase one-of-a-kind holiday ornaments. Our exhibition ‘Song & Dance’ will also be on display.
“Located in the Highlands at Bardstown Road and Eastern Parkway, we provide a beautiful gallery space for our exhibitions,” he added. “Art is also hung throughout the studio – encouraging visitors to shop and/or engage with our artists. VT
StudioWorks is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays. Follow them on Instagram and FaceBook @studioworksbyzoomgroup and visit them at zoomgroup.org to donate.