ELKHART — The focus for October’s ArtWalk was “The Color Purple,” in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The womens’ shelter of downtown Elkhart, Safe Haven, was on site at Arts on Main and several other activities around the downtown area advocated for domestic violence awareness and prevention.

At Arts on Main the Clothesline Project and Passion for Purple Party to Benefit Safe Haven were held.

“It’s both a therapeutic and awareness project,” Safe Haven’s Vice President of Development and Communications Amanda Ceravolo explained. “During our support groups, we ask women to express how they feel about, not only what they went through, but how they move beyond that and what their future looks like.”

The responses are expressed through T-shirts created by the women at Safe Haven, many of which were on display at Arts on Main Wednesday night.

A purple theme last year turned out well, and Safe Haven was involved in a smaller way with last October’s ArtWalk, so this year the two combined forces for the event.

“It was kind of a natural thing,” ArtWalk organizer Steve Gruber said. “The shelter is downtown so it’s natural that we would want to help them raise awareness of this issue.”

There were purple pumpkins to paint at Civic Plaza and purple monsters to make at Servant’s Heart Community Church.

Purple paint was also a significant contributor to the live dance performance at Civic Plaza during the October ArtWalk.

Choreographed by Amorena Ruffolo, the dance was performed by Edita Adomaityte and Kathleen Bowers, a victim advocate.

“Connecting and collaborating through art, dance and music helps to provide a safe space to people who have been through traumas for them to express their feelings,” Bowers said. “We choreographed the dance but we (hadn’t) practiced with the paints so we (had) no idea what we were going to create.”

Artists downtown during the October ArtWalk included Dave Rozmarynowski, Michelle Wantz, Timothy Yoder, Tracy Brown, Christian Smith, Doyle Bontrager, Nancy Piel, Brenda Murnane,

Stephen Lewis, Meoy Hart, Peter Fauver, Tina Wenger, Todd Yeager and others.

Music throughout the downtown area was by Don & Mike, Nick Fry, Cary Osborne and Brianne Bardon.

The Color Purple October ArtWalk serves as the final ArtWalk of downtown Elkhart for the year. For more information on ArtWalk or for information on how to get involved, visit them online at www.elkhartartwalk.com.

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