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Autism Arts Awarded Outstanding Achievement in Audience Outreach

Each year the The Canadian Museum Association (CMA) hosts an awards ceremony to celebrate and encourage excellence within the Canadian museum sector.

Museums of all sizes and budgets are encouraged to submit nominations. A volunteer jury conducts a peer review of all submissions and the successful recipients are recognized at the CMA’s national conference.

This year Art Gallery of Nova Scotia’s Autism Arts program was awarded the Outstanding Achievement in Audience Outreach, for programming that advances knowledge and understanding by reaching new audiences or enhancing existing ones. The Autism Arts publication was additionally awarded an honourable mention for the Award of Outstanding Achievement in the Research category.

Our Interim Director & CEO Sarah Moore Fillmore has this to say, on behalf of the Gallery.

Over the past 15 years, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia has worked in partnership with Autism Nova Scotia, to create an inspiring art program in response to the fundamental need for families with children and youth on the autism spectrum to have access to inclusive recreational experiences. For many of the participants, the Saturday art classes and exploring the Gallery have become their favourite part of their week! As one grandmother shared with us, this incredible program has invested “time to understand the unique needs and strengths of each participant. They are valued and appreciated as their own person.”

The story of Autism Arts as shared in the recent publication, illuminates the deep commitment of artists, autism support therapists, volunteers, families, funders, the partner organizations, and other community supporters – all have given time, energy, expertise, and care to build a strong and always evolving program. Our deep gratitude is extended to you all for making this program what it is today.

Autism Arts is a place for self-expression, connection and social interaction; learning and acceptance. As one of the long-standing participants, Abby clearly articulates: “Art is the perfect way to express my passion and creativity and this class lets me show off my artwork and work with people who have autism just like me”.

A special thank you to Joan Craig (The Craig Foundation) for her unwavering support and guidance since the very beginning. For the young artists, some of whom are now adults, thank you for sharing your time and your remarkable artworks with us!

The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is honoured to be recognized by the Canadian Museum Association, thank you.

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