Live Yes Studios’ new space needs wheelchair lift

Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 9:33 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Live Yes Studios offers all-day programming for adults with developmental disabilities.

Most of their work is in the arts and they recently celebrated moving into a new space, but it has a few setbacks.

In the past, many of the artists showcased their work in a separate studio space.

The new building, near 20th and O Streets, has one that’s about 10 times bigger than the previous location. The problem is it’s not accessible to all artists.

It’s working to raise funds to get a wheelchair lift. They want everyone who works so hard to create downstairs to have a chance to get upstairs and have a show.

The Live Yes Studios has been around for just shy of a decade and offers creative opportunities of all kinds.

“Our focus is to create a professional art studio environment,” said Natasha Scholz, the program manager. “We offer classes and just help people in their own creative endeavors.”

That main studio space is on the downstairs level. It’s split up by general mediums, but those who come to enjoy the space are usually only limited to their imagination.

There’s a room for painting, drawing, and collaging. There are also adaptive rooms filled with instruments like drums, guitars, and sound systems for playing and mixing music. Live Yes Studios also offers a hidden ceramics nook, with big blocks of clay, colors, and a kiln.

“It’s a good thing; a good thing in my life,” said Josh Burke, one of the artists.

The top-level is what it hopes will be a gallery space where artists can show their work and raise money. In previous spaces, it’s hosted First Fridays, fundraisers, and musical guests.

Right now, there’s no way that wheelchair-bound artists, like Carrie O’Brien, who has been with the program for six years, to make it up there.

“My show was amazing. I made a lot of money,” O’Brien said. “But what I like is you can be yourself here. We need money for the lift so I can get upstairs and I can have another show.”

O’Brien isn’t alone in not being able to access the space. David Walter is also wheelchair-bound. He uses an adaptive paintbrush and mouth-guard hybrid tool to create vibrant and geometric paintings.

“My goal is once we get an elevator, so I can get upstairs. I plan on selling my artwork,” Walter said.

Through Give to Lincoln Day the group raised about $2,500, but to get and install that lift, it will set them back about $26,000.

Live Yes will be teaming up with Pepes Bistro for a fundraiser later in June. They also have a link on their website to contribute to the project as well.

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