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Creative Arts Workshop is proud to offer:

The Tony Garreffa
Living Through the Arts Scholarship


As a child, I attended an extracurricular community arts program with Motor City Youth Theatre. It was in this community that I found safety and comfort and support as a third grader who did not feel they had a place in the world. It was at this youth program that I gained lifetime friends and mentorship from teachers and artists from my community. 


I remember knowing that some families had parents who were laid off at work or were struggling financially to make ends meet. That never prevented any child from having the opportunity to participate in the program. This sort of generosity made it an everlasting impact on my philosophy of how to work with, create, and support community. 

At the same time my older brother was discovering his own passion for the fine arts, and learning how to fit in and be comfortable in his own skin.


His name is Tony. 


Tony and I both took artistic directions in our youth and into adulthood. Tony excelled in the fine arts: drawing, painting, stained glass. And also became a wonderful songwriter, singer, and guitar player. 


Over the years of making art, Tony created many personal pieces, and also presented pieces at his schools and other community environments. 


Tony eventually moved to San Antonio, Texas where he continued making arts and music, and also his beautiful son Robert. 


In June of 2018, Tony ended his life, after many years of dealing with mental health struggles. 


During the time I spent back in Michigan leading up to his funeral, I would drive around to places I remembered spending with him as a child. From a neighborhood party store where we would get pizza slices to bike paths, church playgrounds, and beautiful, wooded areas where we would play and make believe. From these memories, I found determination to create an environment where children could find healing and love in their own creativity. I found a belief that if children could understand their own artistic abilities from a younger age, they could use these as coping mechanisms for when life gets challenging or they feel alone.


Creative Arts Workshop is the home for these beliefs, which have been inspired by Tony’s life and death. 

Now, in our third year of operation, we celebrate Tony and all other individuals through their own beautiful lens and artistic spirit! 


A major part of our belief is being able to offer programming at reduced or free of charge for families when they come to us with this need.


To this date, we have been able to offer over $7000 worth of programming at no cost or at reduced rates for multiple families of Rockland County. 


We called this the Tony Garreffa Living Through the Arts Scholarship Fund


There is no official application process because of the fact that we want to extend trust and belief in the families that would like our services for their children to experience. 


Each program we offer has a certain number of seats that we can open up for this scholarships. And if families reach out to us in need, we respond as simply and kindly as possible. Our goal is to make this a process that alleviates any shame or stigma. 


We are now opening up the Scholarship Fund for donations to help cover seats for summer and school year programming. All funds we receive will go to current families and future families who need assistance. 


Each year we will have three scholarship fundraising campaigns: 


Tony’s Birthday: January 20 

Tony’s Memorial: June 18


Mental Health Awareness Month: May


Creative Arts Workshop is not a non-for profit organization. However, we are a community based arts studio and our mission is not a profit-driven mission. Our mission is community and arts-based holistic programming for youth and adults. Any donation will be used to cover cost for in-need families that wish to enroll in any of our Workshop programming. 

Any donation to our Tony Garreffa Living Through the Arts Scholarship Fund is very much appreciated by the Workshop team and our families.


Over the coming months and years we do hope to develop this fund into a non-profit organization and be able to extend more awareness and funding for programs in the Detroit area as well as San Antonio areas, where Tony left his artistic footprint. 


Thank you so much for being a part of our journey, and also supporting a community through the arts and through living!



Joe Garreffa

Program Director 

Make a Donation to the:
Tony Garreffa Living Through the Arts Scholarship Fund

Thank you for your donation!

TGLTA Donation Form
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