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A Spectrum of Experiences

  • The Philadelphia Autism Project Team
Posted on May 9, 2018
PAP art show
Art by Kareem Schlegel

The Philadelphia Autism Project, based at the A. J. Drexel Autism Institute, launched the first collaborative art show called Philadelphia: A Spectrum of Experiences in honor of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. The initiative stemmed from the desire to expand opportunities for individuals with autism in the community and enable artists to display their creativity.

The art show spoke to the mission of the Philadelphia Autism Project, which aims to support individuals and families who are living with autism in Philadelphia through resources and innovative programs. There were over 80 works of art on display at City Hall by artists of all ages on the autism spectrum.  

Philadelphia: A Spectrum of Experiences’ opening night was filled with pride and excitement from both the artists and attendees. David Ferro, an art teacher in Abington High School, noted the importance of seeing one’s work on display. “For a student who shies away from making visual art, when he saw his art hanging with others in the art show, it’s become a motivating factor for him in working in the art room.”

The Philadelphia Autism Project partnered with a number of organizations to launch the show, including the Office of Councilman-At-Large Derek Green, Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbilities Services through Community Behavioral Health, and the Office of Culture, Arts and the Creative Economy. “The amount of talent displayed during the art show was limitless and awe-inspiring,” said Councilman-At-Large Green. “I’m glad that so many people had an opportunity to come and experience it, to essentially view life through the eyes of these remarkable artists.”

In thinking about the future, the Philadelphia Autism Project is considering how more artwork can be displayed in public spaces and exploring opportunities for artists to earn an income in doing so. Artists have been excited to learn that people want to buy their work.

The Philadelphia Autism Project is a citywide initiative supported through the Office of Councilman Green and conducted in partnership with the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services through Community Behavioral Health.

Posted in events