Claire Anderson, contributing writer
Michael Bingham has a gift for identifying and utilizing an individual’s strengths to help them express themselves through art, no matter what limitations or challenges they may have in their life. That is why he established Jump the Moon Foundation in 2017.
Jump the Moon is a nonprofit organization with a beautiful mission: “Motivated by love and belief in the unlimited potential of every person, we utilize the arts and creativity to bring hope, expression, imagination, empowerment, and freedom to all, especially those that were thought to be limited.”
Art has been Michael’s profession for 40 years. As a high school art teacher, he witnessed the profound impact that art had on the lives of his students, especially those with disabilities. This inspired him to create an organization that could allow him to further share his passion with everyone, even those with severe challenges. “Art will continue bringing joy to my life until I take my last breath,” Michael said. “That joy was greatly magnified when I started teaching and sharing my knowledge and experience with others. It was amplified even more when I turned my focus to those who face life with physical and cognitive challenges.”
Jump the Moon offers a variety of classes and community events, put together by Michael and many incredible volunteers who dedicate their time to helping people discover their own personal strengths when it comes to creating art. “Often, those strengths have been overlooked,” Michael said. “It may be the ability to spill paint, move your eyes, push your elbow down, or wiggle your foot. We truly believe that everyone, no matter how severe their challenge, has something they can do better than anyone else on the planet. And we love the opportunity to help them prove it.”
Since losing its former studio space on Main Street in Logan, Jump the Moon has been required to think outside the box when finding ways to further serve the community. This led Michael to his latest idea: a large van, serving as a mobile art studio, called “Vincent the Van to Go.” This van would allow the organization to transport many of its unique art-making devices to people all across the valley, especially those who aren’t able to leave home and attend art classes. Those in assisted living centers, senior centers, and schools’ special needs programs would be given the opportunity to use an ArtBot, a motorized robot that folds down to provide four crayon-melting work surfaces, a Painting Power Chair, and many other devices that help make art more accessible.
“The challenge in making a dream like this come true is finding the funds to do it,” Michael said. “Gratefully, the Marie Eccles Cain Foundation-Russell Family got things going for us. A couple of other private donors, including radio show host Glenn Beck, have pitched in as well, but we are still a ways away from being able to obtain a vehicle.”
Michael would also like to acknowledge the support of many who have helped Jump the Moon become the organization that it is today. “We would not be here as a nonprofit without the generous support of many wonderful organizations and individuals who contribute to help keep us moving forward,” he said. “The logos of many of them can be found on our website.”
To donate, sign up to volunteer, or learn more about this organization, visit jumpthemoon.org.