Bloomington’s Threshold to Hope Celebrates Expanded Arts Program | Arts and Theater

BLOOMINGTON — threshold of hope will host an art sale and open house this Saturday to celebrate its expanded art program.

Threshold to Hope, a nonprofit organization located at 107 E. Chestnut St. in Bloomington, aims to bring hope and healing to homeless people, people with disabilities and other low-income people through of art on a payment basis. The program offers classes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and starting in January, they will add a class on Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Supplies, snacks, water and coffee are provided during each lesson.

The Threshold to Hope sign is seen outside the classroom at the Creativity Center, 107 E. Chestnut St. in Bloomington.


Nora Zaring and her husband, Dave Zaring, started Threshold to Hope about four years ago. The Zarings, along with Shelley Welke, Althea Bellamy, and Mary Darling, form the Threshold to Hope Board of Directors, with Nora Zaring as CEO and volunteer instructor; Dave Zaring as Chairman of the Board and Photographer; Welke as a board member and volunteer; Bellamy as a board member, artist, and volunteer; and Darling as an artist, board member and volunteer.

Nora Zaring previously worked at a homeless shelter and taught art. She was about to retire, but decided she still wanted to do art in some capacity. She is also co-founder of the Inside Out Accessible Art Gallery and Cooperative in downtown Bloomington.

“My favorite part is seeing the joy on their faces when they’ve created something beautiful,” Zaring said. “There’s a real sense of community. The artists encourage each other a lot, there’s an atmosphere of mutual building.”

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The Threshold of Hope is seen inside the Creativity Center, 107 E. Chestnut St., Bloomington.


Zaring teaches artists how to paint on canvas step by step, but encourages them to create their own version of what she shows them or whatever they want to do.

Classes are available for high school students and adults. Classes usually have 10 to 17 students, with around 20 or 25 coming regularly.

Artists receive a commission for all of their art that is sold.

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“The goal is to educate them and help them enrich their lives,” Zaring said. “It’s a safe place to explore art. We’re not going to be judgmental. We really want it to remain a quiet, relaxing space.”

The open house will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and will allow artists to present their work. Attendees will be able to meet the artists, view artist demonstrations and purchase artwork.

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The “Create Creative Creativity” wall decor can be seen at Hope’s Doorstep inside the Creativity Center, 107 E. Chestnut St., Bloomington.


Starting in 2022, Threshold to Hope will join artists in downtown Bloomington at First Friday events.

Threshold to Hope is currently housed in the Creativity Center at 107 E. Chestnut St., but one day the Zarings hope to have a storefront downtown where they can display more artwork.

They are also always looking for volunteers. Volunteers can teach a class, do cleanup or setup for classes or events, or they can even make art themselves.

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The Creativity Center is seen Thursday morning at 107 E. Chestnut St. in Bloomington.


“Anyone can make art in some way,” Zaring said. “Everyone has something they are creative in and have ways to express themselves.”

Email [email protected] for more information and ways to get involved. Donations can be made by thesholdtohope.orgAmazon Smile or Facebook.

Eureka College President Jamel Wright announces that the university is expanding its Eureka Promise program to all financially and academically qualified Illinois students.

Contact Olivia Jacobs at (309)-820-3352.

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Kayleen C. Rice