Goodwill Artist Charlotte McGraw 2018 Edsy Award Winner

Congratulations to the amazing, incredible and inspirational Goodwill Art Studio & Gallery artist Charlotte McGraw! Charlotte is the winner of the 2018 EDSY award for Excellence in Principles of Self Determination. Here's an excerpt about Charlotte from the award application: Charlotte is seen as a leader among her peers. She will take time to mentor and coach her peers to speak up for themselves and demonstrate strong self-advocacy skills, and encourages her peers to become leaders and reinforces the responsibility of the role stating, “You have to demonstrate strong self control, self advocacy skills and leadership if you want to take on this role. People must see you demonstrating leadership skills.” Charlotte is also an artist and through her artwork has reinforced her message of “everyone matters.”

Through the medium of collage, painting and drawing, she has created the town of Charlottesville (of which she is the mayor!) where everyone, despite differences, is welcome and treated with respect and kindness (with a dose of humor!). About the people of Charlottesville, Charlotte says, “They are not looked at like they have a disease. Everyone is loved. No one gets turned away and no one gets made fun of.”

Charlotte has been willing to share her tragic personal story of growing up in an institution from the age of 16-28 so that we learn from our past and empower people to speak up to avoid a repeat of experiences. Also, through her artwork, she shares her story with the community. Charlotte has been featured on WOSU Artist Profile on Broad and High, Columbus Monthly and numerous other print and broadcast outlets.

She has had her art displayed in galleries across Ohio, including a solo show at the Sharon Weiss Gallery and the Toledo Museum of Art and is in the permanent collections of several corporate galleries. Charlotte has taken her own personal story and experiences and used them to empower her peers and educate her community. She personally affirms the central role a person has in leadership and change, self determination and self advocacy.

Congratulations, Charlotte!