Fund for Artists with Disabilities

FUND FOR ARTISTS WITH DISABILITIES

Fund for Artists with Disabilities, founded by Robert E. Miss and family, is a tax deductible fund via the Westchester Community Foundation.  Donations are appreciated by sending your check payable to Community Funds, Inc.,  with the designation on the Memo Line:  Fund for Artists with Disabilities.

Send your donation check to the Westchester Community Foundation,  210 N. Central Avenue, Hartsdale, NY 10530.  Thanks from me and my family. 
Robert Edward Miss

Why a Fund for Artists with Disabilities?

Who are they?
For me right now, they are primarily  artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  That’s how I got interested and became a practical advocate. But there are many more artists who have other disabilities that may hamper the emergence of their art, veterans suffering with PTSD, persons with other mental health issues or physical disabilities.  How about the artist near me who was born with no arms but paints with her feet!!!

What are they like?
Artists with developmental disabilities seem very matter of fact about their art.  On surface, their art activity tends to be discursive, one step at a time.  They don’t theorize.  But once they reach more proficiency, they seem to create out of their own deep intuitive sense.   They become aware of themselves as artists. 

Why should we care?
The artists with disabilities I have observed, met personally, and helped, need a structured environment within which they are free to express themselves.   Many art programs, services and supports for these artists do not receive public funds.  Grants are sporadic at best. The art program may be seen as an add on, or merely part of the clinical service plan within a social services organization.  Informed leadership about the quality of life value of an art program for individual development is needed.
If you are a person who appreciates art and the creative spirit, you will care about artists with disabilities. 

What do they need?
Beyond a structured environment whether it’s a caring home or a social services program, artists with disabilities have practical and supportive needs:

    *Art supplies and materials
    *A safe and well-equipped space
    *Continuity of schedule
    *Training whether a class, tutor, or group project
    *Recognition, such as at an annual juried group exhibit
    *Exhibits in the community as a group or an individual
    *Placement in commercial galleries
    *Public awareness for the program, the group, individuals
    *Supporters, financial and volunteer
    *Participation in conferences for mentors and artists
    *Savvy art experts who can place art at galleries or businesses
   *Encouragement to compete in awards programs
   *A job: Artists with disabilities gain confidence to join the workforce.     

What can we do?
These are the factors and needs for which I have founded the Fund for Artists with Disabilities.
Please help me and my family build the fund.  Ultimately we would want any artist with a disability or a program helping artists with disabilities be eligible for a grant. Thank you.  Robert Edward Miss