Volunteer Spotlight: Demetris Stewart!
Demetris is a phenomenal woman with many talents and interests! In the summer of 2021, she began volunteering at GiGi’s Playhouse Detroit, and has been the inspiring and enthusiastic leader of our Art Explosion program ever since! She identifies as an Artist through & through, and is dedicated to sharing her passion while positively impacting the lives of those around her. We are blessed she found us and grateful for all she brings to our community. Please enjoy the interview with Demetris below!
Hi Demetris, will you tell us a bit about your life outside of GiGis’s? Let’s start with your career…
I have worked in the medical field for over 30 years, mostly in the field of physical therapy with Synergy Rehab, Inc. and presently with Detroit Medical Center. I also own a small business called Studio Brush, LLC. I travel to homes, businesses, parks, and more to teach painting classes and facilitate art parties for people of all ages.
What are some of your favorite hobbies and interests?
I am an Artist and I love art. Did I say love? Yes, I LOVE art! So my hobbies are drawing, painting, doing arts & crafts, singing, and spending time outside.
What’s a fun fact about you that might surprise us?
I am a comedian and a wannabe detective.
How did you find out about GiGi’s Playhouse?
My good friend, Latonya Morgan, and her awesome son, Blake, suggested I become a volunteer for Art Explosion.
What is it about the mission of GiGi’s Playhouse that appeals to you, personally?
I love that GiGi’s Playhouse has created different platforms to increase awareness of Down syndrome, especially Art.
What do you love about being at GiGi’s? What keeps you coming back?
I love getting to know each individual participant, learning what makes them unique, and encouraging them so they may discover their love for art and self expression.
Do you have a favorite memory from volunteering?
One of my favorite memories is when Patrick came to the group and was clearly not in the mood to paint. My loyal sidekick, Carol, began to help him with his project and before you knew it, he was having fun.
What would you say is the biggest misconception about individuals with Down syndrome?
I’m not sure what others think about Down syndrome because this was all new for me, but one of my thoughts was, will they understand me? It was an honest question, and I wasn’t sure where it came from, but I decided I would just pray about it and do what I’ve been gifted to do and that is helping others and making art. I must say I have learned so much since I became a volunteer.
Why do you believe people with Down syndrome are an important part of our community?
I believe communities are made up of unique people who learn and grow together. We all belong!
What would you say to someone who is considering volunteering at GiGi’s Playhouse?
I would tell them, “Yes, do it!” because I love it. I have so much fun, and it is deeply rewarding. I feel blessed to have this opportunity to do what I love while helping people with Down syndrome make art.
Thank you, Demetris, for bringing so much heart and creativity to our community!
Are you feeling inspired??
We have all sorts of volunteer opportunities that would certainly suit your interests and time allowance. Please join us for volunteer orientation, hosted every 1st Saturday of the month from 10 – 11am. If you have any questions, email email@example.com or call the Playhouse at 248-557-9899.