Access Programs

Inclusive Programs for Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder

Children’s Museum of the Arts’ award-winning free Inclusive Saturdays are back in live virtual and on demand formats, led by veteran CMA Teaching Artist Emma Waldman!

Inclusives On Demand

Inclusives On Demand is a new follow-along video series that empowers children to learn and create at their own pace. Hosted by CMA Teaching Artist Emma Waldman, these videos feature our award-winning arts programming for children with Autism, now available to stream whenever & wherever you are. Videos are available to stream on CMA’s Vimeo and YouTube channels.

#1. Painting Our Emotions Inspired by Louise Fishman

Follow along with Emma as she shares the work of abstract painter Louise Fishman and demonstrates how different brushstrokes can express our emotions.

#2. Abstract Sculptures Inspired by Alexander Calder

Watch shapes soar through the air as Emma shares the work of sculptor Alexander Calder and demonstrates how to bring your paper mobile to life.

#3. Paper Sculptures Inspired by Helen Cordero

Imagine the stories and characters behind Cochiti ceramist Helen Cordero’s storyteller figures, then create your own extraordinary character from your imagination.

#4. Art Books Inspired by Ellsworth Kelly, Cy Twombly, and Dieter Roth

Look through the sketchbooks of artists Ellsworth Kelly, Dieter Roth, and Cy Twombly and learn how journaling can be its own art form. Next, Emma shows us how to create our own artist book to record our sketches and thoughts.

#5. Frame Your World Inspired by Malick Sidibé and Stephanie Temma Hier

Consider how borders and frames can enhance and emphasize your artwork, then create your own picture frame in the spirit of artists Malick Sidibé and Stephanie Temma Hier.

Live Virtual Class Schedule

Taking place on Saturday mornings from 9:30 AM to 11 AM ET, these 90-minute live virtual classes provide a free opportunity for children of all ages with Autism spectrum disorders to participate in a variety of tactile art-making experiences. Classes are specifically designed to help children develop social skills, creative problem-solving strategies, and self-expression through art and storytelling.

Saturday, May 21, 2022: Movement and Making Inspired by Joan Mitchell

Explore the expansive relationship between movement and making through the work of abstract painter Joan Mitchell.

Saturday, May 28, 2022: Give Movement to Shapes Inspired by Henri Matisse

Give movement to shapes by studying the work of Henri Matisse who created dynamic compositions by “drawing with scissors.”

Saturday, June 4, 2022: Observation As a Way of Making Inspired by Faith Ringgold

Discover a new way of looking at the world by studying the narrative quilts of mixed media artist Faith Ringgold.

Saturday, June 11, 2022: Music and Art Work Together

Explore the deep connection between music and art and discover how rhythms can inspire your brushstrokes.

Saturday, June 18, 2022: Family Portraits Inspired by Njideka Akunyili Crosby

Take a look at the work of Njideka Akunyili Crosby and reimagine an extraordinary portrait of your loved ones using ordinary materials.

Saturday, June 25, 2022: Where the Characters Are Inspired by Maurice Sendak

Create characters that leap off the page in the spirit of beloved children’s book illustrator and Where the Wild Things Are creator Maurice Sendak.

What to Expect in Each Class

Each 90-minute live, interactive virtual class is led by Teaching Artist Emma Waldman. Specialized lessons and engaging, hands-on projects are designed specifically for children with Autism spectrum disorders and their families to do together.

The program’s curriculum is rooted in accessible art-making practices and Children’s Museum of the Arts’ pedagogy of Look, Make, Share.

Each session includes art-making, storytelling, and plenty of interactive communication and fun! Children will have ample time to express their ideas and explore their creativity through sensory projects and materials.

New art-making materials will be introduced each week, with an emphasis on household materials and basic art supplies.

Small class sizes allow for interaction and feedback between families and with the instructor.

Meet Emma!

Emma Waldman is an artist and educator who is passionate about encouraging the creativity in us all. She holds a B.A. in Studio Art and Psychology from Skidmore College and has experience teaching in District 75 schools.

Please Note

Due to the interactive (and fun!) nature of the class, class size is extremely limited. Please make every effort to attend the class if you reserve a ticket. If you can no longer attend, please cancel your ticket, which will allow another family to attend. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation, and happy creating!

This class may be recorded for educational and promotional purposes. If you do not wish to have your image or name on screen, please join with audio only and rename yourself using the Zoom rename options.

From Our Families

“Children’s Museum of the Arts opened the opportunity for us to visit other museums. Museums helped my son become the amazing person he is, and helped me to help him, and other people with disabilities to experience and be part of museums.”

“​Being able to participate in art activities is educational and fantastic for my daughter’s creativity. The activities are wonderful, the workshops are fantastic, and the Teaching Artists are amazing folks.”

Children’s Museum of the Arts’ Inclusives Program is generously funded by the Rose M. Badgeley Charitable Trust. Additional support is provided by Liselotte and Robin Vince, the Barbara Hunt McLanahan Memorial Fund, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Jennifer & Jonathan Soros Foundation, The Robert Lehman Foundation, the Louis Legacy Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

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