Ross Bachelder, an artist and art community activist, in his studio in Berwick. Bachelder is one of four artists featured in a Chocolate Church Art Center video series debuting this month on the center’s Facebook page and YouTube channels. The series highlights artists who are also working to help others. Contributed / William Lederer

A new video series by the Chocolate Church Arts Center in Bath is putting a spotlight on artists who are using their work to benefit others.

“We wanted to highlight artists who are basically making the world a better place,” said William Lederer, the center’s executive director. April is National Volunteer Month, so the time was right, he said.

The four-part Art for Good features interviews with ArtVan, a mobile art therapy nonprofit organization serving under-resourced youth; Kimberly Becker, founder of Bath-based Dolls for Change, which creates and sells dolls made from recycled clothing to support young women in Uganda; Ross Alan Bachelder of Berwick, a multi-medium artist and art community activist; and Rob and Amanda Duquette of Biddeford-based Music and Magic, an organization that donates musical instruments to children.

The series, viewable for free, debuted Thursday and a new video will appear on the center’s Facebook page and YouTube channel every Thursday throughout April at 7 p.m.

Lederer said the coronavirus pandemic has been particularly challenging for the center, which is known in part for concerts and other live events that have not been possible. The restrictions, he said, are leading organizers to come up with virtual projects such as the series.

“We’ve been doing as much ‘other’ programming as we can think of,” he said.

Kimberly Becker works in her studio in Bath, making dolls that she sells to benefit girls in Uganda. Becker is one of four artists featured in a video series this month by the Chocolate Church Arts Center. The series highlights artists who are working to help others. Contributed / WIlliam Lederer

The videos feature tours of artists’ studios, interviews with the artists and demonstrations or performances, Lederer said.

“We try to make it as dynamic as we can,” he said.

Becker said this week that she has been using her dolls to raise money since February 2020, and already she has raised $11,000 to build a bathroom facility at a school in Uganda. It sounds like a small thing, she said, but for many young girls, a lack of privacy at school has led to many of them dropping out.

“Bathrooms in rural facilities are just holes in the ground,” she said.

Becker said she works with Dreams of Tropical Youth Uganda, a companion charity operating in the country. She said the new facility she funded led to parties and celebration in the community.

Amanda Duquette said she and her husband have been operating Music and Magic since 2009. Duquette said she was inspired by the death of a friend and fellow musician, who had told her he grew up without access to musical instruments.

Duquette said she and her husband collect used instruments to donate to children in Maine. To date, she said, they have donated instruments to 150 families statewide. The instruments have ranged from common instruments such as drums, guitars and clarinets to bagpipes and singing bowls.

“It’s been a myriad of instruments,” she said.

Duquette said they do the charity work alongside their musical performances for children, which has included performances at the center in the past. So far, she said, Music and Magic has existed and thrived on an informal level.

“It’s been word of mouth over the years,” she said.

For more information about the video series or the center in general, visit chocolatechurcharts.org.

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