Event to support creative expression, raise autism awareness

Published on Wednesday, 6 July 2022 11:38


BRISTOL – Local artists will be teaming up with children and youth on the autism spectrum to paint a mural at Famiglia D’Oro IV Artists Entertainment Studios this weekend, providing participants a chance at creative expression and helping to raise autism awareness.

The event, which is being called the "Big Bro & Sis Creative Art Mural Extravaganza", is organized by Famiglia D’Oro IV Artists Entertainment Studios, Save Our Schools for Our Kids, The Social Chase. A group of seven local and area artists will team with children, youth, and young adults with autism for an indoor mural painting at the studio located on the second floor of the building at 61 East Main St.

On Friday, July 8 and Saturday, July 9 from 1 to 7 p.m., participants will be able to paint a section of the wall while enjoying music and snacks in a relaxing and fun atmosphere. Participants will also have the opportunity to go into a recording booth to sing, speak and record any vocal expression they wish.

Then, on Sunday, July 10, from 4 to 7 p.m., five artists will judge the murals and first, second, third and fourth place winners will win prizes. All participants will receive an award for their participation and the artists placing in the top three will win a cash award.

Yvonne Renee Davis, president of Save Our Schools for Our Kids, said that the purpose of the event is to "elevate autism spectrum disorder (ASD) awareness by highlighting the healing, developmental purposes, and inspiration through the arts." This is the first year that this mural competition will be held.

"We will also be looking to hold similar events in Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford," said Davis. "Our goal is to expand this event nationally and develop a movement that continues to bring awareness."

Davis said that each artist will be given a 10 foot high by 12 feet in width section to paint whatever they choose. Participants so far range in age from 5 to their early 20s.

"Many artists have done a lot with social justice themes in recent years," she said. "A lot of them also like to paint anime characters. We feel that it is important for them to be able to express themselves however they choose."

Helen Taylor, founder of The Social Chase, explained that she created a "neuro-diverse group" that provides social opportunities such as bowling outings and cooking classes for many children on the autism spectrum. Many of them, she said, come from urban communities where those opportunities did not exist in their school system. Five members of this group will be participating in the “Big Bro & Sis Creative Art Mural Extravaganza" this weekend.

"The autism spectrum includes quite a few individuals who are very creative and artistic," she said. "My son is on the spectrum and he has authored three children's books. A lot of the people in my group like to draw to express themselves. It makes them feel good."

Davis has invited Mayor Jeff Caggiano, Greg Hahn, chair of the City Arts and Culture Commission and Jaymie Bianca, chair of the diversity council, to attend this weekend.

The event is being sponsored by Eversource Energy and Theresa Hopkins-Statin, president of the Eversource Foundation and Vice President of Corporate Citizenship and Equity at Eversource Energy is invited to attend.

Local artists who are on the autism spectrum who wish to participate can call Davis at 860-796-2842 or email her at yvonne@davisworldtraining.com.

Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or bjohnson@bristolpress.com.

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Wednesday, 6 July 2022 11:38. Updated: Wednesday, 6 July 2022 11:40.