A Celebration of Ability

Mill Street Loft Exhibit Features Anderson Center for Autism Artists

The Mid-Hudson Valley is home to some very special organizations and businesses, both large and small. The unifier between them is their distinct ability and desire to change lives. This spring, Mill Street Loft has partnered with the Anderson Center for Autism to provide adults on the autism spectrum with opportunities for artistic expression. This one of a kind partnership concludes next month with the "Reflective Expressions" art exhibit, opening with a reception on Sunday, May 4th from 2-5 PM. The work can be viewed at Gallery 45 at the Mill Street Loft, 45 Pershing Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY, Monday - Friday through June 13th.

The partnership, made possible by a grant from the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, includes a series of workshops led by professional artists/educators Nina Tantillo Elton and Christina DiMarco. Part of Mill Street Loft's Arts for Healing programs, the workshops empower and reinforce artistic skills and self-expression with individuals from Anderson Center's Expressive Outcomes program.

Anderson's art program, Expressive Outcomes, held its first exhibition in 2004, displayed in one of Anderson Center's LifeLong LearningSM Centers. The program has grown tremendously in the number of participants, as well as in skills level over the years, with some program participants entering work in outside art exhibits. "We are extraordinarily proud and eagerly continue the development of the program. It is expected that our art program will build off of past success, expand on opportunities for our artists to express themselves and develop and learn new skills. This program connects us with our communities, artists, families, agencies, and beyond," said Director of Adult Services, Mary Doyle of Anderson Center.

Arts for Healing, a program of Mill Street Loft, works with chronically ill children, adults with memory loss issues, and people with physical, emotional, and cognitive challenges. In collaborations with organizations such as the Anderson Center, the Alzheimer's Association of the Hudson Valley, Vassar-Warner Home for Seniors, and Vassar Brothers Medical Center, the artists use the visual arts, poetry, music, creative movement, and storytelling in projects that stimulate minds and allow for non-verbal expression. These programs are integral to Mill Street Loft's mission to bring arts-based programming to those in greatest need.

Media artist Nina Tantillo Elton, lead artist of the Mill Street Loft-Anderson Center collaboration, brings to the table her out of the box thinking. A well known local artist-educator, Nina has headed programs to assist art and creative movement with children, adults and teachers alike. Nina is also Director of Mill Street's Dutchess Arts Camp in Beacon.

Working alongside Nina is artist Christina DiMarco, a core artist-educator at Mill Street Loft, teaching in both its Girls' Empowerment programs and Dutchess Arts Camps since 1993. DiMarco specializes in paper marbling and book binding, and also teaches photography, puppet making, ink, clay and a variety of other visual arts.

Anderson Center for Autism and the Mill Street Loft invite you to stop by and enjoy both art and opportunity among friends, as we celebrate the abilities and talents of these extraordinary individuals. For more information contact Mill Street Loft at (845) 471-7477 or visit the website at www.millstreetloft.org

For more information contact:
Brianne Radtke
Ashworth Creative, Public Relations
E-mail: brianne@ashworthcreative.com / Phone: 845-877-0410 ext. 105

Pat Sexton, Program Director
Gallery 45, Mill Street Loft, 45 Pershing Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
E-mail: info@millstreetloft.org/ Phone: 845-471-7477


About Anderson Center for Autism
A proud benchmark agency for the last 90 years, Anderson Center for Autism is New York's premier autism treatment and care center. It is a non-for-profit organization located in picturesque Staatsburg, N.Y., dedicated to providing the highest quality programs possible for both children and adults with autism. It employs nearly 800 specialists who are expertly trained to diagnose, treat, and care for adults and children on the autism spectrum.

About Mill Street Loft
Mill Street Loft changes lives through the arts. For more than 30 years, Mill Street Loft has served the Hudson Valley, using the arts to bridge cultural and economic differences and empower children and adults of all ages. Their programs include the award-winning Outreach Programs for Youth, Arts for Healing, a year-round Art Institute, four regional Dutchess Arts Camps, and monthly art exhibits. All of Mill Street Loft's programs foster self-expression and support economic development, offering inspiration and opportunity to its ever-expanding audience.

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