We recently attended The Arc’s Art Celebration 2017 to learn about the innovative ways in which The Arc of the Capital Area is working toward a future where all children and adults with disabilities have opportunities to live meaningful and healthy lives. During the annual fundaiser dinner event — which featured live music, compelling video, and a silent and live auction — we had the opportunity to learn about The Arc’s current and future programming and the unique services that they provide to assist maturing adults with disabilities gain the skills they need to become independent.
Since 1949, The Arc of the Capital Area has been committed to empowering Central Texans with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families through compassionate case management and innovative programs. Texas currently ranks 50th (out of 50 states and the District of Columbia) in providing community-based services to children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Arc supports approximately 2,000 Central Texans and their families and is, for many families, their sole service provider. For a glimpse into their work, view the below short video produced by a local production company committed to modern-day storytelling, Schrock Films.
About ten years ago, The Arc started an arts program designed to help clients explore artistic mediums, learn to better express themselves, and create artwork that is professionally shown and sold — with artist commission — online, at local businesses, and at art shows like The Arc’s Art Celebration. The revenue incurred by these classes helps The Arc to hire the teachers and case managers to support their mission.”We’re not just looking for community contributions,” said executive director Mary Van Haneghan, Ed. D., “We want to create something that’s sustainable — we want to create a service that we can give back to the community.”
In that light, The Arc of the Arts Studio began a partnership this past year with Austin Community College’s continuing education STEPS program to become a satellite site providing arts education classes to the community. Classes are scheduled in the late afternoons, evenings, and weekends and are designed for people of all abilities. There are two sessions that will be offered in 2018 — with course offerings celebrating music, photography, and more — and the registration deadlines for the first and second first sessions respectively are January 15 at 5:00 pm and March 16 at 5:00 pm.