A Hillsboro art show benefit brings life to the downtown area and draws attention to heart health.

COURTESY PHOTOS - A Hillsboro art show brought in about 100 participants to a privately run holistic health and community art center on Friday, June 1. A downtown Hillsboro holistic health and community art center enticed curiosity-seekers June 1 with an art show and benefit, raising money to help people with stroke and brain injuries.

The Healthy HeART Project, 269 E. Main St., held its first-ever "Art for Brains" show on June 1, raising money for The Aphasia Network, a nonprofit organization assisting stroke and brain injury survivors.

Aphasia is a disorder caused by stroke or brain injury While people retain their intelligence, their ability to speak and understand others is impaired and most people with the disorder have difficulty reading and writing.

"The Healthy HeART Project is off to a good start," said the organization's founder Eric Beggs. "The night introduced citizens to our vision of how a community center can invigorate life into downtown."

Beggs' New Age-themed center opened earlier this year as an incubator for more than a dozen local businesses, offering everything from eye-glass repairs to acupuncturists to drum-making.

The center curates an art gallery inside the space and hosts evenings events the first Tuesday and first and last Friday of the month.

Beggs credited registered nurse Kailey Cox, a stroke coordinator for Providence Brain and Spine Institute and volunteer for The Aphasia Network, in marrying the concept of a stroke-survivor benefit show with artistic sensibilities.

Cox created a series of acrylic-on-canvas and mixed media art pieces to benefit The Aphasia Network.

The June 1 event featured live music, food from local downtown eateries and a silent auction.

"We are thankful for the generosity and space provided by The Healthy Heart, where Kailey's beautiful artwork will be on sale all through the month of June," Gardner said.

All proceeds from the sales will benefit The Aphasia Network.

June is National Aphasia Awareness Month, said Suzanne Gardner, The Aphasia Network's chief executive. The nonprofit's camps, retreats and workshops work with stroke survivors to break through barriers created by the isolating communication disorder to reconnect, socialize and get back to life, according to the nonprofit.

"We were excited to work with Eric and Kailey to share our message of inclusivity for persons with Aphasia and of finding equality in a speech-based world," Gardner said.

For more information on the Healthy Heart Project, call 971-245-6283 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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