The upcoming event features art from young adults between the ages of 24-30 with a mental level of about 12 years old that learned how to draw by an artist/instructor from New York City. I was asked to be a part of this event by Kohei Takazawa that has a family friend that started a company in Japan helping people of all ages that have some degree of mental retardation, autism, and any disabilities that hinders their day to day activities without assistance. The founder of the company (Domani), has a son that was born with special needs, and that was the reason he started the program Art4Smile.
The company hires various instructors to teach them simple tasks such as bread making, cooking, music, etc. so that some day they can acquire a job and a purpose for their life. Art is one focus, and they have noticed some of the kids excel much more than their peers. The instructor was most surprised by how quickly
they learned the various structures of art. Art4Smile has displayed their art before in Japan, but wanted to get more exposure for the program and it will help build more awareness back in Japan and here as well. The art sold here will benefit the students and anyone that attends the event will also be able to receive printed items with the art on it such as iphone cases, coffee tumblers, mouse pads etc.. through a donation basis.
I was excited to be a part of this event since my aunt has Down Syndrome and has always worked in
some capacity in programs like the one Domani has created.
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