Inspired Transportation will bring artists with development disabilities to InsideOut Studio

Inspiration Studios, which operates InsideOut, has plans to expand the transporation service in 2023.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Inspiration Studios, the non-profit that operates InsideOut Studio in downtown Hamilton, will now provide transportation for program participants.

And possibly next year, Inspiration Studios could expand its transportation services to the greater developmentally disabled population, said the nonprofit’s CEO Stephen Smith.

“We want to focus on serving adults with developmental disabilities in Butler County,” he said. “We’re only providing transportation coming to our program upfront. We do have aspirations in the next year ... to think about doing full-time transportation for people with developmental disabilities, specifically, throughout the day.”

With the purchase of three vehicles, one of which is ready to go, Inspiration Studios formed Inspired Transportation to be able to provide these services. The other two vehicles were expected to arrive on Friday and transportation services will start today, Smith said.

“We want to look at the needs of individuals specifically with developmental disabilities in Butler County, and the first thing we saw was there was a huge need for reliable transportation services,” Smith said. “I know a lot of organizations are going through some troubled times coming out of COVID, like retaining employees and consistency, we saw that our artists weren’t getting here on time, we saw our artists weren’t getting here at all due to a lack of drivers with other transportation services.”

InsideOut Studio is the flagship program for Inspiration Studios, and a vocational rehabilitation program for adults with developmental disabilities that focuses on the arts. The program offers paintings, drawings, watercolors, ceramics, and fused glass, and the studio is starting to include the digital arts. The studio sells the artwork on the artists’ behalf to allow them to earn income.

The capital fundraising came in at just under $200,000 for Inspired Transporation, and two of the major sponsors were the Hamilton Community Foundation and Ruder Bever Family. Inspiration Studios’ Kim Neal Davis, director of development and marketing, was key in this project, Smith said.

The studio will also provide program participants an opportunity to go out on community and day trips, such as to a museum or park, but on July 28 they will take them to the Cincinnati Reds game.

InsideOut Studio has a goal of giving its artists and participants “the best day of their lives, whether that’s creating work that they can sell and make money from but also be accepted for who they are and having a social atmosphere,” Smith said.

InsideOut artists have worked with companies, like Cohen Recycling, to create a mural at the company’s Middletown headquarters, and will work on projects later this year. Neal Davis told the Journal-News last year that “it’s impossible to have a bad day here (at the studio). They are so inspiring, and just brings so much joy that it makes working for an organization like this just very fulfilling.”

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