ARTisSpectrum Vol. 31, May 2014 - page 74

ARTisSpectrum | Volume 31 |
Marianne Fernandez Uses Her Skills to Help a Special Needs Show Succeed
Art has the power to elevate. I did not know that when I was looking to fill a void by volunteering I would find myself using
my art skills to elevate a very special group. I did not set out to share my art skills with Specialized Needs Recreation (SNR).
SNR offers various recreational programs for youths and adults who have challenges participating in other programs
because of a learning disability, sensory impairment, or a mental, emotional or physical handicap. It is their goal to provide
recreational opportunities to all people with disabilities regardless of their ability to pay. I had learned a bit about this
organization through my local United Way, but knew little of what volunteer help SNR needed. They mentioned some of
the programs they offer for special needs kids and adults and that they needed some items made for their talent show.
Their description aroused my curiosity – lacking the necessary context, I could not understand why they wanted certain
items, such as very large playing cards and tombstone standees. I knew I could come up with designs and construct what
they needed. I liked the challenge. They had a Vegas theme and their vision for the show was about as big as you’d expect
to find in Vegas itself! After viewing a recording of a past performance, I understood that this was not just any talent show;
this was more of a variety show with all the trimmings, just minus the name talent. They had divas, stars and superstars,
though not household names, and these people were able to shine for one May night a year.
We are family
“Every year I rise to a new challenge, and try to
elevate the sets and props to inspire a more advanced
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