Color of change: Rowan-Salisbury NAACP hosts paint party

Published 12:10 am Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Sometimes all a child needs to be inspired is a paintbrush and a little encouragement.

The Salisbury-Rowan National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Youth Council hosted a paint party at the Miller Recreation Center in the West End community on Saturday.

Teresa Adams is an outreach specialist and coordinator for the NAACP’s youth program.

“Having opportunities to bring children together with their parents (benefit) the kids,” Adams said. “I encourage parents to participate. I always have. It gives the children a chance to see their parents in a different light.”

An altered parental perspective isn’t the only benefit, according to Adams.

“For others, it gives them a chance to participate and have a structured activity with their parents while they have some fun and enjoy one another, as well as something to take away with them that they could talk about for days to come,” Adams said. “It’s a way to build families and encourage that cohesiveness.”

Through a career in mental health services, Adams indicated that she had seen a lot of children in disheartening situations.

“I know if we don’t pour into them and invest in them, we lose them along the way and in some cases, we pay for it for years to come,” Adams said.

The paint party’s color themes promoted unity and were intended to motivate the children in attendance.

“It’s important that they have motivational themes around the room like the pictures on the tables and the balloons,” Adams said. “In my eyes, they are all kings and queens with the potential to strive for so much more.”

Tianca White and her daughter Chyna were among those attending the event.

“I think it is important to be active within the community, especially with things like this,” White said. “It’s collaborative and a great way to work together as a community as well as building relationship skills.”

One table over, Marissa Montanez and her son Kyalie Jackson created their own masterpieces.

“(Kyalie) is autistic and non-verbal, so getting more into the community and his peers is really important for him,” Montanez said.

She quickly dismissed her artistic skills but indicated that painting had therapeutic benefits.

“I don’t know how to paint, but I still like to do it,” Montanez said. “It is relaxing.”

Fellow attendee David Perez was also able to derive a little relaxation from the paint party.

“I find art soothing,” Perez said.

He saw it advertised on Eventbrite and thought it would be a great way to spend the afternoon with his family.

“It’s a local event,” Perez said. “To get out in the community and see how you can make a change with something different.”

Perez has lived in Salisbury for about 10 years. He was happy to participate in the event on Saturday but indicated that he feels like there should be more events similar to this.

“Especially with a lot of stuff going on around the city, you want things that are open for the children to do,” Perez said. “There is no limit to what the kids can do if we inspire them at a young age.”