December 1, 2010
As 2010 comes to a close and all of us prepare for the New Year 2011, we want to take stock of the accomplishments of the Academy of Special Dreams that benefited the special needs community this year. We thank everyone who has helped us to achieve our mission, particularly the many volunteers who have so generously donated their time and efforts to support the Academy of Special Dreams. And, of course, we especially thank those who have made financial contributions to support the mission of the Special Academy.
Our mission is to increase public awareness, recognition and appreciation of the creative talents of people with disabilities by providing opportunities that encourage, promote and showcase their artistic expressions. At the core of fulfilling our mission, the Academy of Special Dreams sponsored more than 40 adult artists with disabilities by showcasing their creative talents in the arts on the Special Academy’s website this year. We are proud of the ever-increasing collection of paintings, photographs, creative writing, short film and other works of art by artists with disabilities that we feature on our website. Indeed, we have had up to 200,000 monthly visitors at the Academy’s website at http://www.specialacademy.org.
We also sponsored a gala reception for “Vive The Special DREAM Art Exhibition 2010″ featuring 10 artists with disabilities from throughout the county at the Alhambra City Hall at which approximately 400 people attended. During the reception, we were able to award a cash scholarship to Aaron Pfeiffer, a young man who has overcome a hearing disability and now is a promising photographer attending local community colleges, thanks to the generosity of individuals like you. The exhibition helped make a dream come true for the 10 featured artists by producing for many of them their first-ever gallery exhibition.
Earlier this year, as part of the National Disability Awareness Month, the Academy of Special Dreams organized the "Go BLUE for Special Needs", a web-based event in which more than 14,000 people participated online, the purpose of which was to increase public awareness for artists with disabilities in the United States and overseas. Many people throughout Southern California joined us and showed their support for the special needs community by wearing blue-colored clothing on April 30, 2010.
While the Special Academy’s mission is to increase public awareness and community support for the many adult artists with special needs who want to express their talents in the arts, we will continue providing support for our special needs adults in many other ways. For example, in collaboration with local high school teachers in the San Gabriel Valley, we implemented life skills programs for special needs students and their families and caregivers. This winter season we will provide food certificates to very low-income families who have family members with disabilities.
We have many goals to accomplish in the year 2011, including an open-call for “fledgling musicians” to participate in “Vive The Special DREAM Life Concert 2011″ to be held sometime in the spring. Moreover, we expect to provide up to 25 cash scholarships in the visual arts, as well as providing small cash awards for a creative writing contest in a local college.
To make all this possible, we need your support! Your dedication and generosity is invaluable. Your support of the special needs community helps to increase public awareness, recognition, and appreciation of the creative talents of people with disabilities by providing opportunities to many artists in your community.
Thank you for sharing a part of your life with the Academy of Special Dreams! With your support, we strive to create a more accepting and inclusive world for all people, regardless of disabilities.
We welcome your questions and comments. If you wish to make an in-kind donation or request to receive this newsletter electronically, or how you can contribute to our mission, please contact Jerry Ruiz directly by e-mail at JJR@specialacademy.org or by calling 323-253-7380.
Better yet, if you want to make a difference in the lives of artists with disabilities like Aaron Pfeiffer, please consider making a contribution by mailing a check payable to the “Academy of Special Dreams Foundation” to our address at 115 W. California Blvd # 326, Pasadena, California 91105. To set up a recurring donation or to give by credit card, please go directly to our website "www.specialacademy.org" and click on the "Donate Now" link.
The Academy of Special Dreams Foundation is a tax-exempt IRC 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, and as such, all contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Michael Dergar, President & CEO
Academy of Special Dreams Foundation