Autism Arts invites children, youth, and young adults with autism to explore art mediums through self-expression. The program creates an opportunity for new friendships to develop and participants to take part in a positive recreational experience within the community.
Ages 5 to 25 years old
$80 per term
Halifax Chapter: Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
South West Chapter: Art Gallery of Nova Scotia – Western Branch
As a lover of the arts and the founder of Autism Nova Scotia, Joan Craig saw a need for people with autism to have more opportunities for creative expression. Evidence shows that the arts allow people to find unique ways to communicate, and this program allows participants to benefit from art-based activities, interacting with peers and connecting with the greater community. In partnership with the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Autism Arts is offered to autistic individuals in three cohorts – ages 5-11, 12-17, and 18-25.
Each session of this program meets weekly for 8 weeks at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, and is led by Autism Nova Scotia staff and volunteers.
One-to-one support is provided for participants and each individual’s goals are different. Autism Arts provides participants opportunities to communicate in new ways through a wide variety of art projects.
The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia honours participants by displaying their work in a dedicated space in the gallery, which helps to raise awareness of autistic strengths and talents in the community.
Participants’ artwork is also used to created art cards and tote bags that are used for fundraising for the organization.
In 2021, Autism Arts celebrated its 15th anniversary with the publication of Autism Arts – a book celebrating the program that was created in partnership with the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and published by Goose Lane Editions. This book captures the impact of the program for participants through stories and images. It was launched through a virtual event during Autism Acceptance Month with speakers from Autism Nova Scotia and the Art Gallery as well as founder, Joan Craig and Nova Scotia’s Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage.
Cody Roy, Autism Arts Coordinator