Arts for All: Accessible Arts Experience for Children with Special Needs
Free Family Fun Day on Saturday, April 4th 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU
The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU invites all families, especially children with special needs, to All Kids Included – Arts for All, an Accessible Arts Experience.
When: The community art-happening is free and open to the public on Saturday, April 4 from 10am – 2pm. The family fun day, led by Zot Artz, opens up a whole new world of inclusive art-making with specially designed attachments for wheelchairs and other art-making adaptive tools created for children with cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, and other disabilities. The program helps children develop motor skills, concentration, social interaction and self esteem. Families will create life-changing, experiential artworks together in playful environments.
Where: The event is co-sponsored by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and All Kids Included. The Frost Art Museum is located at Florida International University, 10975 S.W. 17 Street (map and directions) and is a cultural destination with a community-focused mission to educate and enlighten that is part of FIU’s Live the Arts program.
At this inclusive and interactive painting and printmaking experience, parents will be able to create and play along with their kids using adaptive art tools created by acclaimed artist and inventor Dwayne Szot.
Watch a video about this innovative art-making experience here …
Mr. Szot has been invited to Miami to facilitate the activities, with his innovative assistive technologies that provide one-of-a-kind creative expression through arts and mobility (such as wheelchairs with attachments for painting on large-scale blank canvases that fill up the entire floor and walls of specially designed rooms).
Children of all abilities and ages can stamp, draw, and print to make their mark. It’s all play, but they learn, explore and develop skills while having fun together.
All tools and materials for kids to use at the event are free for the day, and include fun experiences such as the Super Squirt (a switch-activated liquid paintbrush that attaches to wheelchairs and propels paint 10-15 feet in front of the user onto giant murals on the floor and the walls), the Art Roller (enabling kids to roll paint through an enormous field of color), the Pogo Paint Poles, and the Chalk Walk and Roll. (See examples of these adaptive tools here).
“The Frost Art Museum seeks to build its legacy of education and community outreach with this magical event for families and children with special needs, especially on the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),” said the museum’s Director, Dr. Jordana Pomeroy.
“All year long, our education programs are designed to nurture and increase each participant’s knowledge of art, honoring our mission to serve art lovers of all ages, means and backgrounds including the culturally diverse FIU community, residents and visitors,” adds Dr. Pomeroy.
More About Dwayne Szot and Zot Artz
Dwayne Szot grew up in a mid-western foster home with a foster brother and sister who had cerebral palsy.
Other children and adults with disabilities lived in the home, and Szot observed and respected the special challenges they faced. He credits that experience for giving him the courage and motivation to create the “painting wheelchair” to help children with disabilities create art.
Originally, as an artist and engineer, he designed and built machines that he used to apply color to huge surfaces including building walls, roofs, and even a frozen lake.Having studied how a machine could extend his own ability to make a mark, and remembering his foster siblings’ struggles, Szot was inspired to create a mechanical device that would serve to also extend a disabled person’s ability to make a mark.
He has worked with special education departments, hospitals, and residential facilities. He founded Zot Artz to create adaptive art tools and make them available to teachers, therapists, residential providers, hospitals, parks, and other facilities. Szot also facilitates art experiences nationwide using his inventions.
For Teachers: Workshop for Educators (Friday, April 3, 8:30am-4pm)
This event is a training session for educators, therapists, artists, and community service personnel. (Registration required in advance/not open to the general public.) This workshop provides techniques and strategies that are inclusive for social-emotional, artistic and academic implementation.
There will be segments on accommodation/modification of techniques to adapt content for children and youth with disabilities. The workshop will feature Zot Artz and Jeff Deen’s Drumming for Wellness.
Register: For more information/to register, contact Dia Carter Webb at Arts for Learning: 305-576-1212 or dia@a4Lmiami.org.