Drawing, painting, creating - people in the Buffalo City can do it al l- until mid-September.

In collaboration with The Arts Center and Zot Artz, Anne Carlsen Center is holding its first-ever virtual hands-on art experience. All abilities, ages and community members are invited to participate in the Zot Artz "On the Go" program.

"Every year we collaborate with an artist named Dwayne Szot and he is a developer of these special adopted art tools for children and adults with disabilities," said Denise Jensen, Anne Carlsen Center's recreation coordinator. "It is a great program for all ages and abilities."

The Anne Carlsen Center has been collaborating with Zot Artz for just over a decade.

Jensen said the center will be providing six art kits per week stocking each with print paper, paint, washable markers, tape, disinfecting wipes and the specialized Zot Artz pogo poles. Participants are able to keep everything from the kit except for the pogo poles as these devices will be shared between registered groups. Anne Carlsen Center will be cleaning and disinfecting pogo poles over the weekend due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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"Everything that you need is in the kits so it makes it really simplified and really easy to follow," Jensen said. "We've tried to think of everything - the only thing we did not want to send was scissors."

Jensen said all told, there will likely be around 50 kits assembled and distributed throughout the duration of the program. Those 50 kits would be an impossibility without Jamestown's Quality Inn and Suites and Taps Lounge. The donation totaled more than $3,500.

"It's an important organization to me personally," said Matt Pepple, Quality Inn general manager. "I look for programs within Jamestown that I can help fund. I felt that this program was going to have a great impact not only for Anne Carlsen clients but also for other organizations in town that will get great benefits from it."

Pepple said he thinks that the program will lift participants' spirits and improve the mental state of those negatively affected by the pandemic. Pepple said in the midst of the pandemic the program will offer participants an ability to express themselves.

"He's the reason we were like: 'yay, we are doing it,'" Jensen said of Pepple and the donation. "We really appreciate Quality Inn for that wonderful donation too to make that happen."

The "on the go" kits were developed due to the coronavirus pandemic and the inability to meet in large groups face-to-face. Jensen said the staff at Anne Carlsen had to get creative with how to reach the goal of 250 participants in the midst of the global health crisis.

"We thought at first that COVID was really going to damper this activity and this event," Jensen said. "We did not want to have the season we are in with COVID put a damper on this event because kids love this event. I really don't think it hampered too much - I think we will still be able to impact the people of our community and meet our goal if not exceed it."

Interested parties can contact Jensen at the Anne Carlsen Center. Kits can be picked up on Mondays or Tuesdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at The Arts Center. Over the course of the three days, participants will create two prints, one of which can be showcased in the Anne Carlsen Center's virtual gallery if desired.

"Other than tons of fun, I really do think it brings an awareness of what is out there for adapted equipment for people with disabilities or limited motor skills," Jensen said. "I love how it brings that awareness. It's just such an amazing thing to see people who maybe have a disability and who have never created before create. To be able to bring that option and awareness to our community is what I think it is all about."

Kits and equipment should be returned to The Arts Center and by 5 p.m. on Thursdays. Jensen said if participants would like to keep the art kits for a longer duration, to contact her at 701-952-5198 or at denise.jensen@annecenter.org.