Yesterday, our Eagle's Nest  clients were transfixed, focused and loving every minute of their afternoon (air conditioned!) art project. They transformed aluminum foil (well, that's what it looked like) into works of art.  David, Alice, Brett, Hercules and all their Free.To.Be Eagle's Nest friends had a terrific time participating in this special art lesson - made possible through Arts San Antonio.  Pam and Delia of Arts-Teach shared their day and remarkable creativity and talent with our clients to provide yet another PRODUCTIVE day - INCLUDING our clients in the world of fine art. 
 
Pam is the personification of everyone's favorite junior high teacher... patient, thorough, kind, knowledgeable, and talented. Step by step, Pam gently but enthusiastically guided our clients through the process of transforming a square of soft metal into a work of art.  The clients used their imaginations to create lovely pictures - flowers, hearts, cactus, even super heroes - 'engraving' them straight onto the metal. Pam and Delia taught them how to embellish the image, make it 3-D - bringing each creation to life.  Then they carefully added color and even more dimension to complete these lovely projects.  The final products are more than cute, colorful, metal pictures that were certainly displayed on many a mantle last night! They are a conduit to better fine motor skills, listening skills, working with others, following instructions... all essential skills to growing more independent, productive and included.
 
Art is a mission critical part of our daily curriculum of our Free.To.Be Day Activity program in which more than 350 total clients participate at both Mission Road Developmental Center and Unicorn Center. Our experienced staff includes these clever art projects along with regular and frequent community 'field trips,' practicing math and money skills, reading, writing and essential life skills like shopping, cooking, personal hygiene, etc.  Our Free.To.Be clients are all adults with IDD. They and their families depend on us to create rich and engaging curriculum making certain that their days - Monday through Friday - 7am to 5pm - are filled beginning to end with quality, helpful and interesting lessons.
 
Collaboration is key to a rich curriculum. That's how we met Pam and Delia from the ARTS-TEACH program at Arts San Antonio. Last year, ARTS SA delivered 109 ARTSTEACH arts-education workshops to 1,449 students and senior citizens in four school districts, social-service agencies and senior living centers in San Antonio. The ARTSTEACH program has been expanded to include Master Classes and Performance tickets for students. In 2015-16, 270 students were led by renowned performers in master classes and 3,004 students attended ARTS SA performances using donor-funded tickets.

Art is fun and important