ArtMix (formerly VSA) has been a part of the Indianapolis community for over 35 years. Gayle and David Foy had a vision of providing a way for Indiana children with disabilities to not be isolated in the school system. They adopted a model from a program via the John F Kennedy Center which was started by Jean Kennedy Smith in 1974.
ArtMix fulfills its mission through five core programs and special projects led by professional teaching artists, who provide programming in schools, community centers, hospitals and on-site in the ArtMix Adaptive Studios. Their slogan is ‘Art redefining disability’.
Through art, everyone can express themselves. ArtMix participants learn new ways to create something that is an expression of who they are. This ‘creating’ helps lift their self-esteem, self-confidence and allows them to contribute. Often their artwork can be sold which allows them income but more than that they created something that others have interest in.
‘We are definitely a well kept secret. What we do, no one else is doing. We are inclusive and ongoing. There is a marvelous energy. Come see us!’ says Gayle Holtman, Executive Director of ArtMix.
People with disabilities often are misunderstood or seen as different. But at the core they are just like everyone else. There are more similarities than differences.
ArtMix was recognized by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in 2015. One of the staff with ArtMix and a student were presented the award by Michelle Obama in the White House. It was exciting to be recognized as one of the premier programs throughout the entire United States. Only 12 awards are given each year.
Simons Bitzer & Associates has been working with this organization for several years. We have helped them automate their finances, maintained their books and consulted with them on business strategy. With our focus on the community and giving back, we feel it is an honor to be a small part of this wonderful organization.
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