Updated: Aug 5, 2022
by Abigail Stopka
After Sharetta Howze suffered a brain injury, she found herself questioning her purpose in life. “When I became disabled, I felt like my life was over because I couldn’t do anything I loved anymore.”
As an African- American woman with a brain injury, Sharetta felt like a member of two underrepresented communities. “I used art through my occupational therapy which helped me heal.” That inspired her to found the nonprofit Hidden Tr3sures. Now, she helps others with disabilities or overwhelming situations heal through creative coping.
“Creative coping to me is an experience. It is a chance for people to just take a second to breathe and write down their thoughts. it is an opportunity to heal,” she explained. It’s this process that led her to create the nonprofit Hidden Tr3sures.
“The meaning behind the name Hidden Tr3ssures is that you are a treasure. Just because you are disabled or are facing struggles doesn’t mean that you are denied. You are still a treasure,” Sharetta said.
Hidden Tr3sures is a support group for people with struggles and disabilities. It is a safe space that provides the opportunity for disabled people to express themselves in a way that is accessible to them. It allows people to express themselves through multiple platforms such as painting, writing, dancing, singing or even just having a shoulder to lean on when times are tough. “It is important for everyone to know that we all have a voice, and every voice is special and unique, and it can make a difference,” she said. “I want everyone to know that they do have a platform for their voice here.”
Hidden Tr3sures will be hosting live poetry during Kenmore First Friday, this Friday August 5th at 6 p.m. in the McCutchan Courtyard. The Black Artist Guild will serve wine and visitors can expect to be encouraged and empowered. A variety of poets will be sharing their own journey of healing. There will also be a chance to participate in open mic. “We are all hidden treasures, and we are here to help bring that out of people. We are working on ourselves in hopes of bringing out the best in others,” said Sharetta.