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Connecting Through the Arts with Cynthia Drucker

1. How did you come up with the concept to start this program? With my son Brandon Drucker. He made a Christmas card and then sent the card to his family. At that point our family decided to sell the cards.

2. What inspired you to create such an organization? By selling the first Christmas card, created by Brandon himself and then selling the artwork.

3. What is it about this organization that helps to make it so effective? There are lots of things that were needing to; like providing a retail space for the artists with autism and to show the talents and abilities to the community.

4. How long was the process to create such an organization? Started in the year 2012 with the first three years for pop – up’s at local events, then after that the opportunity was offered at the Festival Flee Market. The pop – up’s helped the artists with autism to prepare for the gallery.

5. What kind of obstacles did you encounter? The startup finances; such as fees for the non – profit status, and the bare materials to open the business. In addition to the lack of volunteers and now have come so far towards the point of not having to need volunteers.

6. In what ways did the organization become a success? Providing opportunities to the artists to promote themselves as professionals.

7. How have the artists benefited from the program? It has supported inclusion.

8. In what ways has your organization impacted your family life and the lives of others? Artists with Autism has required lots of time and effort, as well as the promoting in addition to the networking of the community. Showing the greatness with the people and under no estimation of people with autism.

9. What advice would you give to someone that is coming into their own as the artist from the Autistic spectrum? Never give up, find a mentor, and stay connected with like minded individuals.

10. How has the program funded, and what does the program itself do to improve on a day – to – day or yearly basis? Through fundraising and donations. Also 10% of the sales come from the gallery, which is the process to be involved with as the inclusion of the artists as possible.

11. Are there any volunteer opportunities for individuals wanting help? Yes, most definitely.

12. Do you have any feedback or comments that you would like to share? Like for all parents with disabilities to never give up and focus on their untapped potentials.

BONUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

13. Could you have ever believed that Artists with Autism would grow into the powerhouse it has become? Yes, and it will become even better and greater. Also, looking for bigger and better spaces for the organization to grow as I see it wholeheartedly.

Interviews with the Artists with Autism

Keith Reber:

1. Artwork specialties: Works with a variety of music genres like; rap, hip – hop, reggae, reggetion, r&b, rock, Spanish music, and every kind of fun tunes. Example: listens to the song and paints what he feels through the music through his vivid imagination of that specific song, pretty much synesthesia. In addition to, he creates maps of places where he has been to and where he wants to go. Lastly, he shares lots of motivational quotes which are meant to be anonymous.

2. How has the Artists with Autism effected your life as a whole? Express what I’m good at, express talents, talk to customers, great career and have been involved since November of the year 2014.

Joseph Michael Vidal:

1. Artwork specialties: He does a variety of drawings, also works with; acrylic, water colors, oils, charcoal, and digital media. In addition to, he uses mixed – media to combine different styles to create loads of masterpieces as a great graphic designer he is. He is also an illustrator for general artwork, book covers, and posters like; medieval, sci – fi, fantasy, and gothic. What is also amazing is that he was taught by a Disney animator to do more improved art work.

2. How has the Artists with Autism effected your life as a whole? Helped a lot, revenues, people give better ideas on what to do to improve artistry.

Brandon Drucker:

1. Artwork specialties: He works with acrylic, water color even though it has been a long time since he has used water color and he plans to use it again, buy canvases at Michaels from time to time with his mom; Cynthia Drucker. He also is a phenomenal author and publisher, even his mother helps him edits his stories to be more improved which is very sweet although she does a soft edit to make what Brandon has written is as authentic as possible. In addition to, he is very social and when he wants to write a story book he interviews people and asks them questions about what they do; pretty much an about them (me). Then he takes all of that information from the people and makes a bio on how they are active in his life as a well – developed story. He creates super hero books! Pretty amazing I must say! As the days, months, and years go by he creates and develops more super heroes. Example: Ninja Kubbies, LMNO, Shadowhound, Droid Spedos, Butterfly Girl, and will have an upcoming character named Ghost Girl as mix of a superhero and a princess. Lastly, he creates documents and uses lots of interesting characters in the same home life as if they were to live together and to see how they will interact and live with each other.

2. How has the Artists with Autism effected your life as a whole? Helping to be successful, sell and promote business as a young man.

I'm Miss. Congeniality of Broward College North Campus, Events Coordinator of the Psychology Club at Broward College North Campus, new president of Her Campus Broward, I work for Student Services at Broward College North Campus, and I just like to get involved in many great activities that benefit my personal growth.
Student at Broward College for the past five years, first enrolled on Davie's Central Campus learning Physical Therapy for two years than, transferring to Coconut Creeks North campus for the last three years, now majoring in Early Childhood / Developmental Education. Spent first year with Her campus Broward as Outreach Director, former president of self-entitled campus friendship club, Sammy's Buddy Brigade, member of the Campus Science Club, and a Broward County local student Ambassador with Best Buddies International. Winner of the Sammy's award for most charity work within the community, and now Vice President of Her Campus Broward. I hope to soon be working at Junior Achievement with the elementary and middle school children, in order to have a well rounded experience! The hope is to one day work with and teach children who have special needs such as myself! Biggest belief and philosophy of life is that, no matter what anyone says you can't accomplish in life, I am living proof that anything is possible! Having ADHD, high functioning Autism, and medical conditions such as Scoliosis, helps me to understand special needs children on a level that very few people can! It is this very knowledge that led me to choose Teaching as my chosen profession. Now at age 42, and more than 55% on the way to getting an Associate of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education, I hope to become an Assistant Teacher within the next year or so. We hope that this true life story will inspire others to never give up either, no matter what anybody says, or tells you, that you can't do, the only one who can truly hold you back is "YOU".
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