Grace Fisher Foundation Opens Inclusive Arts Clubhouse, Bringing the Arts to Kids of All Abilities
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(February 28, 2023) Santa Barbara, CA – The Grace Fisher Foundation announces the opening of the Inclusive Arts Clubhouse; a headquarters for inclusivity in the Santa Barbara community, with the goal of providing a safe and welcoming space focusing on persons of all abilities to explore and express themselves through art, music, dance and social programming. The focus of GFF is on children and young adults living with a disability, but there are also programs in place for adults living with other conditions such as MS, Parkinson’s Disease and Spinal Cord Injuries. The public is invited to a Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in partnership with the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, March 8 from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm.
Opening an inclusive space has been a longtime goal of Grace Fisher, who, since becoming paralyzed from the neck down at the age of 17, has been a positive force to be reckoned with, and has pushed the boundaries of what people living with disabilities can do. In 2016, she founded the Grace Fisher Foundation, whose mission is to connect children living with disabilities to music, art, dance, and other forms of artistic expression in order to provide an accessible space for community inclusion, education, creation, and self-discovery. The opening of the Inclusive Arts Clubhouse is the realization of her dream come true.
“The arts are such an important avenue for expression and creativity, but for children with disabilities or special needs, access to artistic opportunities can be limited,” shared Fisher. “We are excited to provide a space where children can come together to explore their creativity and build lasting relationships. Our hope is that this inclusive arts clubhouse will be a positive force in the community, promoting understanding, empathy, and inclusion.”
The Inclusive Arts Clubhouse, located at La Cumbre Plaza (Space F 118, next to the Museum of Sensory and Movement Experience), is a safe and welcoming space for children of all abilities to explore and express themselves through a variety of artistic mediums. Grace’s vision for the inclusive space has come to life with creation stations for art classes, a dance floor, gallery walls for art exhibits, in addition to quiet areas. There is also a retail space that will feature local artwork for sale (including Fisher’s) as well as merchandise from the Never Give Up brand by community partner, the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation.
The Clubhouse will offer a wide range of artistic programs, including visual arts, music, dance, and more. In addition to its regular programming, the inclusive arts clubhouse will also host special events and workshops throughout the year, including performances, exhibitions, educational opportunities, and supportive services for families, local community groups, and caregivers. The Clubhouse goal is to create a beautiful, “make you feel good” environment where all children can feel comfortable and supported as they explore their artistic interests.
The Clubhouse has already received a great deal of support from the community, with many local artists and organizations offering their time and resources to help get the clubhouse up and running. The hope is that the clubhouse will become a hub for artistic activity in the community, with people of all abilities coming together to create and explore.
The Inclusive Arts Clubhouse hours are Wednesday – Sunday, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, closed Monday & Tuesday, but available for private parties and event rentals as well. For more information including programming details, please visit gracefisherfoundation.org/clubhouse or contact (email@example.com).