News & Press

Press Release – October 23, 2013

WorldCause Foundation Provides Grant to Coral Springs Museum of Art's Kaleidoscope ArtReach Program

WorldCause Foundation Provides Grant to Coral Springs Museum of Art's Kaleidoscope ArtReach Program

WorldCause Foundation is pleased to announce the presentation of a $2,000.00 grant towards the Coral Springs Museum of Art – Kaleidoscope ArtReach Program.

Located in Broward County Florida, The Coral Springs Museum of Art (CSMART), has established an art program designed exclusively for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), under the name Kaleidoscope ArtReach.

In the Museum's 16 year history as a community anchor, CSMART continually adopts programming to meet the evolving needs of the population in the community. The Museum annually serves approximately 12,000 school age kids. In witnessing the upward trajectory of serving children with ASDs, the Museum believes it vital to implement Kaleidoscope ArtReach at this time. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 139 children are on the autism spectrum in South Florida. The prevalence among boys is 1 in 88. The Museum recognizes the enormous toll and stress families incur in living with autistic children.

It is often said, "If you have met one child with autism, you have met only one child with autism." This refers to variability in expression of this disorder and the adoption of the "spectrum" model in the autism definition. These children spend much of their formal education learning to be "normal" in society. In the museum setting these children will have the ability to celebrate their unique abilities. While for many children with ASDs typical communication skills come with great difficulty, art can offer them creative and emotional outlets to better express themselves. Sadly, children with ASDs often are forced into a state of isolationism, but art education can provide them socialization skills and involvement of peers needed for future inclusion activities.

The Museum plans to address the following programming under this initiative:

  • Offering art classes inside the Museum designed for 30 children, 5 to 12 years old, with ASDs.
  • Offering outreach art classes at the off-site locations designed for children, 5 to 12 years old, with ASDs.
  • Enhance the Museum visit experience for families and their children with ASDs with pre-visit materials, appropriate interactive activities and positive environmental support in the Museum galleries.

CSMART would like to implement a pilot program in conjunction with a neighboring school, Parkside Elementary that contains an autism cluster, where children with ASDs receive specialized instruction as well as opportunities to be mainstreamed into typical classrooms. This pilot art program will be implemented from January 1, 2013, to May 15, 2014. The Museum will also develop museum visit materials for families and their children with ASDs at this time. Parents and staff of the children in the pilot program at Parkside Elementary will serve as a focus group to assist CSMART in the assessment of this program. Upon successful evaluation, the Museum anticipates offering Kaleidoscope ArtReach to the public starting September 1, 2014.

CSMART has developed two amazing partnerships to support the Museum in developing the Kaleidoscope ArtReach initiative: Jacksonville Museum of Contemporary Art and The Autism Institute of Nova Southeastern University. The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), located in Jacksonville, Florida, for five years has created and operated Rainbow Artists: Art and Autism across the Spectrum. Rainbow Artists is an educational initiative designed exclusively for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), which annually services approximately 250 kids.

Jacksonville MOCA will be providing their curriculum to CSMART in an effort to test the reliability of this program in other museums across the nation. The Autism Institute and Baudhuin Preschool of Nova Southeastern University are internationally recognized organizations in the creation of model education programs for children with ASDs. The Autism Institute will train Museum staff to provide beneficial classroom experiences to children with ASDs, consulting services in the physical design and setup of classroom, develop program monitoring and evaluation processes and support the development of materials for enjoyable and successful museum visits for children with ASDs and their families.

Additionally, in an effort to encourage new donations for this program, the Community Foundation of Broward has pledged $2 dollars matched for every $1 dollar donated. Since WorldCause Foundation made a donation in the amount of $2,000.00, the Community Foundation of Broward has actually matched it with an additional $4,000.00!

WorldCause Foundation would like to thank the Community Foundation of Broward, and the Coral Springs Museum of Art for their efforts establishing this exciting new program which will help introduce art to children with Autism, additionally helping these students develop strong skills.

For more information on the Coral Springs Museum of Art please visit, www.CoralSpringsMuseum.org, and for the Community Foundation of Broward please visit, www.cfbroward.org.