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Be Inspired

Six-year-old Alex and his family moved to Newberry a little over a year ago. Being new in town, his parents wanted to find opportunities for Alex and his sister to develop their interests and make friends.

Alex is on the autism spectrum, so sports and competitive activities were not an option for him. “He doesn't associate well with sports or any type of competition. He doesn't understand a lot of the rules sometimes, and the loudness can be really overstimulating for him,” said his mom, Harley. “Different things like that can really trigger him when it comes to sports.”

His parents learned about the Newberry Arts Center and the afternoon art programming for children ages 4 to 8. He always enjoyed doing art at home, so his parents decided to sign him up for a six-week session of classes.

Right away, Alex fell in love with the class. He looked forward to going every Tuesday and working with the instructor, Jennifer Polaski. The classes were also just the right size for him; he could socialize and make new friends, but there weren’t so many students that it was overwhelming or too noisy.

Alex has continued taking classes at the Arts Center since then. Through the classes, “his art came a long way, it started to get a little bit more intense,” said Harley. “He got a little bit more color, and he would play around with the shapes and have a little bit more definition to what he was doing.” More importantly, the classes have improved his socialization and communication skills.

Alex says that the best part about art and the art classes is that “art helps me think and be inspired!”

Thanks to our supporters, the Newberry Arts Center provides opportunities for people of all ages to dabble in color, shapes, and self-expression.

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