FEATURING THE ARTWORK OF GEORGE DUNBAR AND DEVIN "CYPHER" DENNIS
The New Blue Foundation and Chartwell Center have partnered to bring excellence in service to the autistic community in the Great New Orleans Area regardless of income level or location. The "New Blue” partnership is a diverse, innovative, and vital effort addressing some of the most current and urgent issues in the autistic community including: the lack of consistent presence of ASD-specific therapists in our public schools, insufficient awareness and skill-building resources for first responders regarding interactions with autistic adults, the need for awareness and understanding in the general public regarding our autistic sisters and brothers, and the need for high quality and broad professional development for those who are called to serve this community.
“New Blue” is also a strong advocate for the wide array of therapeutic specialties beyond the more widely accepted (and funded) clinical therapies such as ABA. There are many evidence-driven modalities including art therapy and music therapy that access areas of the mind where communication, connection, and often virtuosity are awakened and developed in life-changing ways. When Board Certified practitioners in such specialties work in tandem with other specialists, the Whole Person is addressed with compassion and creativity resulting in more authentic outcomes for the individual.
For this reason, the 2020 Evening in Blue focuses on the power of the creative mind and the universality of the languages of art and music. The New Blue Foundation has been working with guest artists and musicians throughout 2019 and 2020 to create a community of clinicians, career artists, and autistic children and adults in New Orleans. We have also created a partnership with Schaumburg Elementary and Gilda’s Academy in New Orleans East to pilot such a program – in a cost-efficient manner – in the public school setting. It is anticipated that this pilot will help move the needle on how public schools in New Orleans accommodate autistic students, with greater specificity and better outcomes, and to build a replicable model.
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