Painting a new playground — Moscow art studio raises funds for an ADA-compliant playground


The owners of Moscow’s Wild at Art are helping their local community this month by raising money for Lena Whitmore Elementary School.

Wild at Art owners, Donald Stanziano and Joan Hofmann, are hosting four fundraising events to support the initiative to make the school’s playground better comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“We just feel like we have to do something to help,” Stanziano said.

The series of events will take place at Moscow’s downtown Wild at Art studio between Friday and Sunday.

Stanziano said he and Hofmann will team up with Moscow Brewing Company to host “Paint a Pint,” which includes supplies and a pint for participants to paint and take home, a pint of craft-style beer or non-alcoholic beverages, pub grub and a chance to win door prizes.

Stanziano said they will also host a “Wine and Canvas” night which includes art supplies and canvas, wine, non-alcoholic beverages and snacks. The other two events are Kids and Canvas and Holiday Ornament Painting, he said.

“We’re really hoping it’s a raging success,” Stanziano said. “It’s good for us to support the organizations that make this community what it is.”

Wild at Art will donate a portion of the proceeds to Lena Whitmore Elementary School in order to make necessary updates to the school’s deteriorating playground, Stanziano said.

The school’s principal, Kendra McMillan, said some at the school have noticed pieces of the wooden playground becoming unsafe. McMillan said a large section of the playground was deemed unsafe this summer, and other pieces of playground equipment will be reaching the end of their lifespan soon, so it has been decided the entire playground needs to be replaced.

McMillan said while the playground technically qualifies as ADA-compliant, the bark chips under the jungle gym make it difficult for a child or a parent who uses a wheelchair. She said she wants children to be able to play and for their parents to be able to play with them, no matter what.

“We should be supporting and encouraging play regardless of disabilities,” McMillan said.

McMillan said there have been various fundraisers this fall and there will be more in the spring to try and raise the $100,000 to $150,000 needed to replace the equipment. McMillan said hopefully the playground will be replaced in 2019. She said new equipment will include a climbing unit, a barrel swing, a three-slide unit, monkey bars, somersault bars and more.

“We need to accommodate the needs of our community,” she said.

Stanziano said he wants to support the initiative because he is mentoring a fourth grader at Lena Whitmore Elementary School, and his son attended the school.

“He played at that playground, and I pushed him on those swings,” Stanziano said. “Woodchips that would soften my son’s fall would not work the same for a student in a wheelchair.”

Stanziano said making a playground more ADA-compliant is off most people’s radar. He said a playground is a place where kids can be exuberant and joyful, and that shouldn’t be closed off to some children.

Wild at Art has hosted fundraising events in the past and the owners are looking to do others in the future to help schools and other organizations around Moscow, Stanziano said.

“We’ve been beneficiaries of a lot of organizations and businesses that make Moscow, Moscow,” he said. “So let’s make the good better, and let’s make the better best.”

Jordan Willson can be reached at


Wild at Art Events

Paint a Pint

When: 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday

Cost: $35 in advance, $40 day of the event

Kids and Canvas

When: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday

Cost: $25 each, 2/$40, $15 each additional painter

Wine and Canvas

When: 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday

Cost: $35 in advance, $40 day of the event

Holiday Ornament Painting

When: 10 a.m. to noon Sunday

Cost: $5 and up

All events will be held at Wild at Art. Tickets can be purchased online through the Wild at Art website or Facebook page. No tickets are needed for Holiday Ornament Painting.

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