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Special Needs Programming

Special Needs Programs

Adaptive Painting Classes

Until we rebuild the studio, we will bring our programming to you!

One of the barriers to arts learning for people with disabilities and older adults is the fact that many have a fear of being in a new social situation. Our adapted classes help students overcome that fear. Often it takes a simple coloring exercise and kind words from staff to get them involved in painting. Over the past years, Simply ArtAble has developed a painting style that works within everyone’s level and comfort. Our simple approach welcomes all budding artists and encourages them to make art in their own way. Our teachers are experienced in meeting each student their level and adapting the program to the needs of your group. All ages and abilities are welcome!

Community Partners

Find out how your facility can become a Community Partner! We currently serve adults with disabilities from over a dozen group homes and programs to provide low cost art therapy for residents and participants. We can provide in-studio sessions in an ADA compliant setting or work with your group via Zoom. Your group will also be eligible to participate in our Pizza Paint Parties. Call the studio for more information!

Pizza Paint Parties

Once a month we host a two-hour painting class/pizza party for persons with disabilities and friends from the general community. These events are an opportunity for day program participants and other special needs friends to paint and socialize with “paint buddies” from the broader community. The parties are very popular and eagerly anticipated by all participants. We have learned that individuals with developmental disabilities, in particular, are often very isolated, spending their days primarily with others from their own community, having few opportunities to socialize with the general public. Everyone who attends our Pizza Paint Parties learns and benefits from the experience: the special needs artists as well as our paint buddies. The one-on-one personal connection of creating art together creates a bond between participants, increasing their understanding of each other and their worlds. Please call the studio to register an individual or group with special needs or to register as a Paint Buddy. COVID restrictions may apply.

**This activity is made possible thanks to Private and Corporate Sponsorships. For information on how to sponsor and Host a Pizza Paint Party, please call the studio. Thank you!

Our History of Working with Persons with Disabilities:

I have been passionate about teaching and sharing the healing aspects of creating art together…and for ones self…most of my life. Becoming a functioning artist saved me. I needed an outlet to express and to share my feelings, and as time passed teaching gave me purpose and self worth. Simply ArtAble has been the path for me to connect with the special needs and general community as a whole.

I was painfully shy and highly sensitive as a child. Some of that has carried over into my adult life. I felt emotionally beaten down and was teased relentlessly. Perhaps this is what motivated me at 13 years old to start volunteering at the Dakota County Children’s Home that housed children with disabilities. It was there I felt like I fit in and realized that I had a heart to share art therapy with others so they too could experience its healing properties. My past experiences definitely inspired me to create Simply ArtAble, where all ages, genders and abilities are welcome in an ADA compliant space. We adapt to each and every artist on their own level. We extend our outreach to provide monthly painting sessions with expectant mothers in the hospital who are on bedrest awaiting their babies, residents at several Senior Living facilities, as well as residents in treatment centers.

When I look back at my life, the path that I have taken seems pretty straight forward, but honestly, I just blindly took one step after the other, faithfully following the spirit that moved me. I am so very grateful for every single experience that has brought me to this place and am humbled by all of the beauty and love that is created in this space.

It’s about peace & love!

~ Jane Elias, Founder & Creative Director


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