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The art of healing: The Women's Shelter Program of San Luis Obispo celebrates their 35th anniversary



October marks the beginning of the fall season, Halloween, and all things pumpkin spiced. On a slightly more serious note, October is also Domestic Violence Awareness month. To celebrate, the Women’s Shelter Program of San Luis Obispo County will be holding an art show and an open house, also commemorating its 35th anniversary. 

The Women’s Shelter Program began in 1977 by Cam Mitchell and Darlene Reynolds, two social workers who started the shelter as a response to the lack of resources for victims of domestic violence. Beginning with a simple safe house, the program has since expanded its services to include outpatient and children’s counseling, a safe house, 24-hour crisis line, transitional housing, and art therapy programs.

STARRY FLIGHT:  The Women’s Shelter Program will be showcasing artwork made in its art therapy program. - PHOTO COURTESY OF BETH RAUB
  • STARRY FLIGHT: The Women’s Shelter Program will be showcasing artwork made in its art therapy program.

The art show will feature creations from clients of the shelter’s art therapy programs. 

“We are featuring original art created by women and children who participate in Therapeutic Art Program,” said Beth Raub, the director of volunteer and outreach services for the shelter. “The art will have a narrative written by the client who created it, but the show includes art by the staff as well.”

In addition to the original artwork, the shelter will also have food from KunFusion Food Truck and Rebecca’s Ice Cream Truck, art projects for children to participate in, as well as trunk-or-treat, where kids can go from parked car to parked car and trick-or-treat for candy.

“SLO County residents will have the opportunity to enjoy some amazing art and to expand their understanding of domestic violence in our community,” Raub said.

In addition to the art show, there will be pizza nights at Woodstock’s on Oct. 16 and 23. Woodstock’s is donating 10 percent of all the proceeds to the Women’s Shelter.

The art show and open house will be held Friday, Oct. 31, at 51 Zaca Lane, suite 15, and will go from 4 to 7 p.m. Anyone is allowed to attend, and admission is free.

For more information about the art show, and the shelter program, email Beth Raub at, or call 781-6401, Ext. 202.


Fast fact

Verdin Marketing is holding a 24-Hour Give fundraiser for one local nonprofit. People in the community will have the chance to nominate their favorite nonprofit organization until Oct. 24. Verdin will then narrow down the choices to three finalists, and out of those, one nonprofit will receive $30,000 of marketing work. Verdin will have 24 hours to strategize, plan, and develop the new brand for the nonprofit. That includes a new logo, marking materials, website, business cards, letterheads, and more. The fundraiser will take place Nov. 20 to 21. For more information, or to nominate an organization, go to


Intern Adriana Catanzarite was sipping a pumpkin spice latté while writing this week’s Strokes and Plugs. Send your business and nonprofit news to

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