Art has the potential to bring us together and create lasting connections. As humans, we have a universal need to express ourselves, find meaning, and experience a sense of belonging in our communities.
In 2006, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and Autism Nova Scotia partnered to develop a recreational art program that provided a safe and supportive environment for participants to express themselves creatively. In these classes, artists work in collaboration with autism support specialists and volunteers to provide meaningful and positive art experiences for children and young adults on the autism spectrum.
Autism Arts showcases the collaborative nature and profound impact of the program. Featuring interviews with participants and their families, facilitators, and therapists and autism support specialists, this unique resource gathers reflections, stories, and feedback; documents workshops, representative artworks, and visual stories of social interactions; and reflects on the role museums and galleries can play in inclusion.
Richly illustrated and accompanied with real-life stories, curriculum choices, and lesson plans, Autism Arts invites the reader both to celebrate and to share in the optimism and promise inclusive programming holds for all of us.