Elma Orr spearheaded this year’s donation to Corners Outreach

Members of the 50-year-old Dunwoody Fine Arts Association made a creative donation of 150 art supply bags to Corners Outreach program, a non-profit organization that helps underserved families in the Atlanta area.

This is the second year the DFAA has donated to Corners, which is based in Peachtree Corners, but this year, the group stepped up their donations.

“We expanded the donation by customizing the bags so that they included supplies for individual age groups,” said Sharon Weiss, an artist and publicity chair for the DFAA. “This ensures that each student receives supplies appropriate for their age.”

Elma Orr, who is a local muralist, headed the program that provided gift bags to 150 students. On Nov. 29, Orr, along with DFAA Co-President Donna Barnhart, Melanie Williams, Susan Proctor, Claudia Botwin, Pam Wetzel, Sundeep Kumar Parey and Michelle Ackerman met at the North Shallowford Annex on Shallowford Road, the site of the organization’s monthly meetings, to assemble the bags. The group delivered their gift shortly after to Corners.

Corners Outreach, which has been in existence for 10 years, is dedicated to helping families across the Atlanta area who are experiencing poverty. Its three-prong approach involves breaking cycles of poverty by connecting and empowering its members with their Corners Outreach program, running its Corners Academy, which engages parents and students to increase graduation rates through tutoring, mentoring and training and the operating its Corners Industries program, which connects parents to living wage employment.

In 2021, according to its annual report, Corners “created and paid out over $1 million to local parents.”

The Dunwoody Fine Arts Association, founded in 1971, has as its mission to promote fine art in the Dunwoody and outlying areas, work to encourage its artists to exhibit in various venues throughout the Metro area, and support and educate each other through lectures, critiques, workshops and exhibits.

Weiss, who has taught pastel, painting, and sketching classes at the Spruill Center for the Arts for more than two decades, said she has found a great source of inspiration being around the DFAA artists.

“I have made some really great friends, and they include a wide variety of people,” Weiss said. “Our group includes teachers, architects, psychologists, as well as trained artists, and they are from all around the city.”

The 65-member organization meets monthly from September to May at the North Shallowford Annex building on the first Wednesday of the month at 9:30 am. The meetings are open to the public.

For more information about DFAA, visit dunwoodyfineart.org. For information about Corners Outreach, visit cornersoutreach.org.

Cathy Cobbs covers Dunwoody for Reporter Newspapers and Rough Draft Atlanta. She can be reached at cathy@roughdraftatlanta.com