Center for the Arts & Design donates sock monkeys

Art & Design Department Chair and Director of the Center for the Arts & Design Claudia Wilburn presents Gainesville Police Department Officer Maricela Del Rio with sock monkeys made made by Brenau students, faculty and staff. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Claudia Wilburn, director of Brenau’s Center for the Arts & Design (CAD), found a way to comfort local children by making sock monkeys.

CAD and the Kappa Pi art honors society hosted a sock monkey workshop for faculty, staff, students and community members in January. Participants were encouraged to make two monkeys: one to keep and one to donate to the Gainesville Police Department.

On Thursday, May 23, Officer Maricela Del Rio picked up about 20 sock monkeys made during the workshop. The Gainesville Police Department is one of many departments that keep stuffed animals in their patrol cars to give to upset children to comfort them during situations such as car accidents or domestic calls.

Wilburn’s husband heard about the stuffed animal program a few years. She has been learning how to make sock monkeys, so she mixed the two together.

“One of the key missions of the Center for the Arts & Design is to build community,” Wilburn said. “It also builds a relationship with the GPD and Brenau. We hope to do something similar again in the future.”