Arts Unbound hosts Arts Accessible Festival in Cedar Grove

CEDAR GROVE, NJ — Arts Unbound, in collaboration with Essex Junior Academy, a school in the Essex Regional Educational Services Commission, and Cedar Grove Superintendent Laurie Newell, will host Arts Accessible, a festival celebrating inclusion and the arts on Friday, Oct. 14. The festival unites New Jersey support coordination agencies, senior centers, and schools specializing in working with people with developmental and physical disabilities. The festival features age-appropriate workshops and events are free, wheelchair accessible and open to the public. The Arts Accessible Festival will take place at Essex Junior Academy, 520 Pompton Ave. in Cedar Grove, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The purpose of the festival is to underscore the benefits of visual arts exposure in the special needs community — particularly in amassing instances for social and functional development, knowledge gain, skill development and self-confidence. The festival’s visual art activities are self-contained, thereby increasing opportunities for participants to feel immediate pride in their work. For people with disabilities this plays a crucial role in enhanced skill development and self-efficacy. For the students of Essex Junior Academy, this event will prompt a pilot program where Arts Unbound, which is based in Orange, will provide visual art instruction during the 2016-2017 school year.

The festival will include numerous visual art workshops, incorporating painting, drawing, mixed media, sculpture, digital media and jewelry-design, which will be led by Arts Unbound’s professional teaching artists and local guest artists. In addition, participants will be led by Newark muralists to create a mural spotlighting “inclusion.” Arts Unbound will invite students and gallery artists to participate in a pop-up exhibit, showcasing artists with disabilities. Representative workshops will include: Montclair Art Museum, Gallery Aferro, Yendor Arts, Matheny Arts Access Program and additional organizations. Informational booths for parents will be on hand, in addition to live music, games and food, during the festival.

Visit for the festival schedule and workshop and event information.