Spotlight on The Good Purpose Gallery
To celebrate the release of Drawing Autism, edited by Jill Mullin, Akashic will be spotlighting certain organizations dedicated to nurturing and developing the talents, artistic and otherwise, of people diagnosed with autism. Today, we’re thrilled to feature The Good Purpose Gallery, located in Lee, Massachusetts:
The College Internship Program in Lee, Massachusetts was founded in 1984 as an alternative to institutions for students with learning differences. Over the years, CIP has expanded to six national centers in New York, Massachusetts, Indiana, Florida, and California, and is recognized as an incredibly successful program that enriches the lives of young adults (post-secondary students ages 18-26) with various learning differences and helps them succeed in college, employment, and independent living.
CIP Berkshire in Lee, MA offers a unique curriculum track focused on creative and educational development in the visual and performing arts fields for young adults with Asperger’s, autism, ADHD, and other learning differences. Students have the option of participating in the Visual and Performing Arts Program while enrolled in CIP Berkshire’s comprehensive full-year program. The goals of the Visual and Performing Arts Program, which is comprised of performance, visual, and digital arts, include:
- Providing an outlet for creative interests and expression
- Practical skill building and experience through the arts
- Integration of CIP’s core curriculum
- Gainful experience in the creative visual and performing arts fields
Students in the program collaborate together to produce a series of family-oriented performance pieces for the community throughout the year. They also participate in a national art contest, and submit written pieces for inclusion in CIP’s Art and Literary Magazine, Reframe.
The Good Purpose Gallery is an integral part of the Creative and Performing Arts Program at CIP in Lee, MA. It features art created by individuals on the autism spectrum and by other national and regional artists. The CIP student art is created in classes with the CIP art therapist, Ilene Spiewak.
The Gallery’s mission is to raise awareness and interest in art created by those with learning differences, particularly those on the autism spectrum. It, in addition to the Spectrum Playhouse, is a professional venue that exists to offer CIP students real-life training, experience, and integration with the community. Both venues host professional artists and events on a regular basis throughout the year. Students utilize the space for events such as plays, performances, art exhibits, and more. CIP students interact with and receive instruction from professionals working in the field. In addition, CIP’s Joyous Studios is an artist in residence training program which offers studio space for the visual arts.
CIP Berkshire’s Visual and Performing Arts Program offers small group classes aimed at training and educating students for a range of opportunities in creative arts fields. Students build upon the basics such as art and theater history and portfolios to more technical classes such as stage design, costuming, and independent studies. Students can also pursue internships and jobs in a related field, gaining employment skills and experience and building their portfolios and resumes. In addition, students receive career-based classes, supporting their internships and jobs.
One key element of the Gallery is that it is connected to The Starving Artist Cafe. This cafe offers organic, healthy food, musical brunches on Sundays, and additional venue for art exhibits and viewing. It is a great addition to the Gallery, and allows people to enjoy two different kinds of beauty at the same time: Great good and fabulous art.
You can learn more about the Good Purpose Gallery at their website, on Facebook, or Twitter. In addition, art is available for purchase via the Gallery’s website, or by calling 413.394.5045.
Posted: Apr 15, 2014
Category: Akashic in Good Company | Tags: Akashic in Good Company, Massachusetts, art, Drawing Autism, Jill Mullin, autism, autism spectrum disorder, ASD, College Internship Program, CIP, Lee, Berkshires, The Good Purpose Gallery, spotlight
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