The Education Department at The Cummer recently participated in a professional development workshop to broaden their understanding of accessibility and arts education in children with disabilities.
Laurie Brown, an art teacher and art therapist at Alden Road Exceptional Student Center, was invited to the Museum to lead the training. She began with a presentation that explained the theories behind art therapy, and terminology and information about a variety of disabilities, followed by techniques in drawing, painting, and sculpture and how these projects could be adapted to work for all students.
Following the training Educator Matthew Patterson made a trip to Alden Road Exceptional Student Center to work with some of Laurie’s students. Their school has been invited to attend this year’s VSA Festival at The Cummer and has been selected to create artwork that will not only be on exhibition here at the Museum but will also appear on all the t-shirts, banners, and promotional materials for the festival. The students looked at photos of plants and animals native to Florida for inspiration and used a printmaking process to produce their images.
The timing of this workshop could not have been better. With the Museum’s staff in the process of planning this year’s VSA Festival, a celebration of the arts for children with disabilities, it was the perfect time to talk about how best to work with these children and how to make sure their experience at The Cummer is the best possible.
If you would like to be a volunteer at this year’s VSA Festival, please contact Jan Thomas at 904.355.0630 or firstname.lastname@example.org.