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Youth Art Month
March 2018
March is National Youth Art Month (YAM) and we're celebrating it with a focus on art in the lives of young people with disabilities.
Artist Residency Reflection
By Amy-Beth Rice 

When I left my art teaching position in 2014, I was elated at the idea of spending chunks of time alone in my studio. I had worked at a great school, but like many new teachers, especially in the inner city, my first couple of years in the classroom left me ragged and emotionally drained. However, when you have an ability and have worked hard to cultivate it, I believe you should teach others your skills or your unique gifts will leave the earth with you. Teaching multiplies what is within us into the world. This thought haunted me as my alone time in my studio felt increasingly meaningless without any kind of student.
I was connected to Borderless Arts’ Artist Residency program and did my first residency in 2016. The objective of this particular residency was to give students in special education classrooms real-world experience creating an on-brand artwork for a large corporation under the direction and leadership of a local professional artist. READ MORE >>
Teen with Autism Teaches Himself Piano 

This 13 year-old nonverbal teen with autism has been a music lover, and specifically Beethoven, since he was a little boy. Pathfinder's Cecilia Melo-Romie met with his family to assist them in applying for the Family Support Program. With the money they got from Family Support they purchased an iPad which he uses as a communication device; he has also used it to teach himself to play piano. Better Options Tn gave him a piano and now listen to him play the Beethoven he loves! Thank you Better Options and Luis Sura for making this possible for him!
Call Pathfinder! 
By Karen Mevis

CALLER:  Hi, I’m Trish. A friend of mine’s daughter has special needs and I think music therapy might help her. She’s 4 and has a developmental delay. I remember seeing some videos about how music impacts young children when I was in college. Are there any music therapy places around?  They live in Smyrna.
And I have another question: although we don’t all have disabilities, I am involved in an effort to enhance and build our team where I work, and I was leaning towards a project facilitated by an art therapist. I’ve done something similar in the past with an organization, but I’m new to Nashville, and I don’t know where to start. But we are also going to be working with folks in several West Tennessee offices, so the artist would not have to be in Nashville.  Do you have any suggestions? READ MORE for Pathfinder's response!
Call us with questions!


For Multilingual Services:
(615) 875-5083
Mom of Child Who Does Not Speak Finds His Voice in a Camera

Fifteen years ago, new mom Jen Vogus – now a parishioner at Holy Family Church in Brentwood – became concerned about her 5-week-old son ... "I was breastfeeding him and he started doing this eye twitch and lip pucker thing. It was odd, and I had never seen it before.”
The family’s pediatrician confirmed that Aidan was having seizures ... the seizures caused Aidan to fall further and further behind his typically-developing peers, and he remains almost completely non-verbal.
Vogus was convinced Aidan had a lot to say, but she was frustrated by her inability to help Aidan and his teachers connect ... Until she picked up a camera and found her son’s voice. READ MORE >>
Teapot Diplomats
by Lori Kissinger

Teapot Diplomats is a visual arts program of Borderless Arts Tennessee.The program offers monthly arts workshops from October-April that are free of charge to the participants, but the space for the workshops is limited.  The participants learn art techniques, communication and business skills, and information on other cultures through the program. Twice a year the art is sold with 1/3 going to the artists, 1/3 staying with the program and 1/3 going to a community need of the participants' choice.
The group also uses their art to be diplomats for disabilities in the community.  They have offered a diversity training for metro police, taught workshops for other people with disabilities, created art that has been represented in shows in Egypt ... READ MORE >> 
This project is partially funded under grant contracts with the State of Tennessee, the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities, Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.

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Tennessee Disability Pathfinder, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center
1211 21st Ave. S, Suite 539
Nashville, TN 37212

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Tennessee Disability Pathfinder · Vanderbilt University Medical Center · Nashville, TN 37212 · USA