Braille Institute Los Angeles celebrates the holiday season by showcasing the artistic talents of its students at the annual Creative Visions Holiday Boutique. The five-day holiday boutique runs Monday, Dec. 4 through Friday, Dec. 8, 2017 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 741 N. Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029.
Admission is free, and the event is open to the general public who may be looking for special handcrafted items designed by a local artisan who has low-vision or is completely blind.
The annual event features more than 25 booths filled with handmade items that will be featured at the Holiday Boutique include soaps, jewelry, quilts, prints, clothing, accessories, ceramics, baskets, wood items, prints, leatherwork and much more. Proceeds of each sale go directly to the student artisans.
“The holiday boutique is really fun because when you’re there you feel normal,” said Aileen Caparaz, a resident of Los Angeles and Braille Institute Los Angeles student since 2003. “You can do stuff that normal people do.” Aileen has retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and is extremely nearsighted. Aileen and her friend and fellow student, Catherine Leung who lives in Arcadia, enjoy making handmade holiday cards through stamping and embossing for the annual boutique. The starting price for the holiday cards sold at the boutique will be $3.
Braille Institute’s creative art classes are among the most popular programs the Braille Institute offers, enhancing students’ social and recreational opportunities. The artisans featured at the annual Creative Visions Holiday Boutique have honed their craft in the free creative art classes organized throughout the year, which are also designed to help adults with a visual impairment build practical skills and gain or regain independence.
Throughout the year, Braille Institute hosts events like this to encourage self-esteem and independence, and reinforce their mission to help their students cope through each stage of vision loss. The organization strives to remove barriers and demolish stereotypes that could hold their students back from achieving their goals to live well and independent with low vision.
Braille Institute student, Valerie Hernandez, hand makes aprons and denim purses. The El Monte resident continues to make these items until the boutique begins, where she usually has 20 items for purchase. “I love the holiday boutique because I meet a lot of new people when they come up to my station,” said Valerie. “You’ll see me running around my station encouraging people to try things on because one size does not fit all.”
“Holidays are a time to share wonderful traditions with family, friends, and loved ones,” said Anita Wright, executive director, Braille Institute Los Angeles. “Our Holiday Boutique as it is an exciting way to showcase the vast array of individualized talent as our students continue to live fulfilling lives using their heart of vision.”
Creative Visions Holiday Boutique
Hosted by Braille Institute Los Angeles
Dec. 4-8, 2017
9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
741 N. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90029
Admission is FREE.
Parking: FREE and secure underground parking on New Hampshire Ave
Braille Institute is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate barriers to a fulfilling life caused by blindness and severe sight loss. The organization serves tens of thousands of adults and youth each year through a broad range of educational, social and recreational programs designed to help people with vision loss lead enriched and fulfilling lives. Services are provided through six centers and 220 community outreach locations throughout Southern California. Students are immersed in an environment of hope and encouragement through integrated educational, social, and recreational programs through our free services, classes and seminars. For more information, visit: BrailleInstitute.org, Facebook.com/BrailleInstitute or on twitter@BrailleInst.