OUR PROGRAM

Welcome to ArtisticallyAbled, an inclusive, outreach-based creative experience in the visual arts that brings the smARTS to ALL … to all types of schools, to all types of programs, to all types of students!

We paint! We draw! We sculpt! We craft! All in the context of a low-pressure program run by three sisters committed to bringing the visual arts to all.

Inclusivity is is the foundation of our model. Our unique visiting-art program boasts a custom and adaptive curriculum for students who thrive with a “traditional” classroom structure and for students who do best with individualized modifications. And, just as important, we work proactively to cultivate a fun, creative, and collaborative environment that celebrates students of all backgrounds and abilities. 

How is this possible? Well, for starters, we believe in process over product and self-expression over technical expertise so that EVERY student is inspired, excited, and empowered to discover their artistic voice.

Second, our program directors have a background in both the arts and “special education.” Our curriculum is co-designed by our talented art director and our board certified behavior analyst (BCBA), who has specialization in behavior-based teaching methodologies that enable us to adapt our curriculum and projects so that they are accessible, stimulating, and fulfilling for ALL students.

And last but not least, we love to collaborate with classroom teachers and program leaders to design projects that address and reinforce concepts/skills/etc. that they’re working outside of our sessions, and we always welcome and encourage the presence of support staff to assist those artists who many not be able to participate independently.

Bottom line: it’s our hope to provide all budding artists with an equal opportunity to make art, make friends, and make memories. Let’s get creative together!

A group of preschool or kindergarten children in art class painting pictures at a table.  A little African American boy, 6 years old, is in the middle, reaching over to dip his brush in the paint.

Why do we at ArtisticallyAbled think it’s so important to cultivate an “inclusive” program like ours?

The answer can be boiled down to one word: exposure.

Every child deserves exposure to the arts, and every child benefits from exposure to a diverse group of peers. 

In the context of our program and beyond, we are passionate about creating a world that offers just that.

Two boys working on art project for school with heads close together in concentration.

art is not what you see, but what you make others see.

-edgar degas

OUR MISSION

We designed ArtisticallyAbled with three overarching and intersecting missions in mind:

1) We aim to bring inclusive, adaptive opportunities in the arts to individuals who may not otherwise have access to them … opportunities that allow students of ALL abilities and backgrounds to explore, express, create, and benefit from exposure to an arts education.

2) We strive to cultivate an environment of awareness, acceptance, and celebration of our differences, and we advocate for the adoption of these practices in the community at large — not just within the confines of our visits.

3) We aim to foster an environment where peer modeling and peer leadership are an inherent part of our creative programming, to the benefit of all of our student artists. 

 OUR STUDENTS

Perhaps the question we’re asked most often is this: “Who is this program for?”

When we say “inclusive art instruction for all individuals,” we do in fact mean all!

Whether a student is considered “typical” or has a specific diagnosis, classification, and/or physical disability … whether he needs the help of an aide/therapist or can attend independently … whether she attends a public school or specialty program … ArtisticallyAbled is for them! Our projects — and our teaching to them — have been designed to be modified, adapted, and completely tailored to each individual artist, and we strive to create an inviting culture where all feel welcome.

Furthermore, beyond the benefits of an individualized art education (and the art experience itself) is the group benefit of the inclusive environment we are cultivating.

Research suggests that individuals with disabilities learn more, learn more quickly, and better maintain learned skills when working with typically-developing peer models than when they don’t. (And it’s important to note that these skills are not limited to the art curriculum that we at ArtisticallyAbled specifically address in our classes. They can include language skills, social skills, discrimination tasks, group attending, etc.)

At the same time, typically-developing peer models stand to gain invaluable life and learning experiences. Serving as peer models/leaders helps students foster awareness of, acceptance of, and empathy for people who are different from them; it aids in the development of leadership skills; it teaches cooperation; and it gives them experience working in groups of diverse people.

And if that research wasn’t compelling enough, studies also suggest that both students with disabilities and their typically-developing peers experience increased engagement with tasks when working together.

Students conversing in art class

every child is an artist.

– pablo picasso

Is your school or community program interested in getting creative with ArtisticallyAbled?

We’d love to chat!

We’re still booking dates for the 2018-2019 school year, so feel free to contact us with questions or ideas here.

We are happy to work with you to find a program and schedule that suits your needs and budget.

OUR TEAM – “The Sisters”

ArtisticallyAbled is a family-owned and -operated program founded by three sisters who are passionate about the arts and inclusive arts education. Our hearts and souls are invested in the work we do, and we are fiercely committed to creating a fulfilling experience for our students of all abilities. Click through below to read more about our co-founders/program directors. 

Megan Duffy Cassella
Caitlin Duffy
Lauren Duffy Beswick

                Megan Duffy Cassella, MA, BCBA

                                    Caitlin Duffy Soldo

                              Lauren Duffy Beswick

                  Program Director, ABA Artiste

       Program Director, Administrator d’Arts

 Program Director, Architecte des Opéraciones