ART at the ARC Summer Camp
A camp for children with autism and cerebral palsy.
Goals: to empower the children to discover, create, and grow past the limits that have been assigned to them, and to transform assumptions, attitudes, and lives through the work that we do with the children.
The need: Taking the festival to an under-served, special needs group in our community through a dedicated arts program at their Summer Day Camp.
Beginning as a one day arts experience with parents and children with autism and cerebral palsy that has now grown into a 3 days per week 8 week summer art camp with The Arc, McLennan County. Exposure to art activities and experiences is a powerful therapeutic tool that can help further developmental growth. Children make dramatic and significant progress in the short time that they are exposed to the creative process. Through Easel Art and Clay Sculpture we help stimulate the immature sensory system with amazing results. The classes buzz with creativity. Our pilot program Music and Movement proved we needed more instruments and technology tools!
Art activities can stimulate intellectual growth and reinforce academic skills at any functioning level.
Emotional & Social Development
Art Activities are valuable tools in working toward goals for improved independence, self-awareness, and self-esteem.
Communication & Language Development
Time spent on arts projects is a perfect opportunity to promote the use and development of language. With students that are non verbal we begin by encouraging eye contact, facial expressions, and simple natural gestures.
Sensory & Motor Development
Art can be performed in any position. We create ways for students with multiple disabilities to make art.
2019 Art at the Arc
Happiness, Pride, Satisfaction, Concentration! "I DID IT"
Each summer, for over 12 years, Cultural Arts of Waco has worked with the Arc of McLennan County to provide art classes for their summer day camp students with developmental disabilities. Cultural Arts of Waco started out as one program, Waco Cultural Arts Fest, a huge outdoor event with music and lots of people. We were approached by parents of children on the autism spectrum to talk about bringing the arts activities to students who might not be able to handle the sensory overload of the Fest and Art at the Arc was born! Starting smaller, with two days a week for a few weeks, we now work with students age 5-19 for three days a week for the full 8-week program, culminating in the ART at the ARC Exhibition the first week of August.
Cultural Arts of Waco recognizes the importance of the arts in the developmental and social needs for students on the autism spectrum, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy. Arts activities for children who are differently-abled are not just “nice to have” – they are key components in therapeutic interventions which have profound and lasting effects on cognitive, social and communication abilities. Cultural Arts of Waco fills an extremely important need in our community among area families and individuals living with special needs, including and especially for those with autism.
Art activities stimulate creativity and cognitive skills and empower the children to communicate beyond the constraints of verbal communication.
Please consider making a donation to help match grant funding!
Once confidence in an arts material is achieved, creativity takes over. Sometimes hand over hand techniques are used to help overcome the initial lack of confidence in the material.
Caregivers, who have known individual campers for years, have been moved to tears when they see how much and how far these children advance, even in the short amount of time that they have been exposed to the art program.
The art program helps to change lives, empowering and enabling the children to reach and surpass the assumed limits of their potential one student from 2008 now volunteers to be a summer art camp assistant!
Success: Our exhibition featured 500 works of art and impacted families, friends and church members of First Methodist Curch on Austin Avenue in Waco.