Fox Cities P.A.C. to Offer Week of Autisum-Friendly Programming

The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center is proud to announce a week of autism programming! In partnership with several local organizations and Chicago Children's Theatre's Red Kite, Brown Box, the Center welcomes the community to explore and promote autism awareness and inclusion through the arts during a special week of programming Jan. 11-16.

Choose from the many workshops, performances and special opportunities below to learn how you can make a difference for a friend, student, loved one or child who lives with autism.


For more information on any of the below programs, please visit our website or call (920) 730-3764.

MONDAY, JAN. 11:

Reaching Students with Autism Through the Arts: Implications for an Inclusive Classroom
Workshop Leader: Ryan Hourigan
Date and Time: Monday, January 11, 4-7 p.m.
Location: Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, downtown Appleton

Many teachers have noticed an increase in the number of students on the autism spectrum included in their classrooms. In this session, participants explore questions about what autism is, how it affects people and how some strategies are utilized to help students with autism learn and experience the arts. Ryan Hourigan, Associate Director of the School of Music at Ball State University, addresses communication, emotional, socialization, cognitive and sensory challenges faced when working with students with autism. Pre-registration is required. To register call (920) 730-3764; fees are $30 or $25 (for Appleton Area School District staff.) The fee includes the workshop materials and a boxed dinner.

TUESDAY, JAN. 12:

Happy Face Apparel Mini Sessions
Workshop Leader: Multiple
Date and Time: Tuesday, January 12, 10 a.m.- 1 p.m.
Location: Inside the Market Place, downtown Neenah

Special Needs Photo Sessions
Time: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Complimentary mini photography sessions by Sam Scanlan from Scanlan Studios will capture your child. An expert in special needs photography, Sam will use a variety of camera lenses rather than the bright photography lights typically used for portraits, so children feel more comfortable and less anxious. This session will give you the opportunity for either individual or family shots. Included in your photo session is your favorite photo, which will be printed on site especially for you.

Food for the Heart, Mind & Soul
Time: 10 - 11 a.m.
Join us for an interactive discussion on the importance of taking care of yourself and your child both mentally and physically. Nutritionist Rebecca Aldag of Aldag Wellness, will share on the significance of nutrition for children on the autism spectrum and provide ideas for ways to ensure your child is getting all the nutrients needed to grow into a healthy adult, even while on a special diet. Nurse, business owner and mother of a special needs child, Celeste Brennan will share firsthand advice on thriving through the challenges faced in everyday life. Q&A to follow.

Let's Play!
Time: 12- 1 p.m.
Play Therapist Meridith Starling, MSSW, CISW, EDS and founder of Sandbox Family Counseling, will teach you how to play with a purpose! Learn how to manage behavioral issues effectively without losing your cool and with humor by using fun, innovative, and effective approaches. Participants will also learn more about the concepts of play therapy and how it can impact your child. Q&A to follow.

Expressive Therapies Drumming Workshop
Workshop Leader: Sara Devine
Date and Time: Tuesday, January 12, 4- 4:45 p.m.
Location: Appleton Public Library, downtown Appleton
Research has shown that people of all ability levels benefit from making music. For those with special needs, being immersed in a music enrichment opportunity is a joyful and transformational experience. Expressive Therapies will offer a one time opportunity for individuals with special needs to participate in musical activities that focus on interaction and socialization skills as well as fine and gross motor skills. Join us for a fun filled 45 minutes of active music making!

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 13:
Happy Face Apparel Mini Sessions
Workshop Leader: Multiple
Date and Time: Wednesday, January 13, 3- 6 p.m.
Location: Inside the Market Place, downtown Neenah

Special Needs Photo Sessions
Time: 3-6 p.m.
Complimentary mini photography sessions by Sam Scanlan from Scanlan Studios will capture your child. An expert in special needs photography, Sam will use a variety of camera lenses rather than the bright photography lights typically used for portraits, so children feel more comfortable and less anxious. This session will give you the opportunity for either individual or family shots. Included in your photo session is your favorite photo, which will be printed on site especially for you.

Food for the Heart, Mind & Soul
Time: 3- 4 p.m.
Join us for an interactive discussion on the importance of taking care of yourself and your child both mentally and physically. Nutritionist Rebecca Aldag of Aldag Wellness, will share on the significance of nutrition for children on the autism spectrum and provide ideas for ways to ensure your child is getting all the nutrients needed to grow into a healthy adult, even while on a special diet. Nurse, business owner and mother of a special needs child, Celeste Brennan will share firsthand advice on thriving through the challenges faced in everyday life. Q&A to follow.

Let's Play!
Time: 5-6 p.m.
Play Therapist Meridith Starling, MSSW, CISW, EDS and founder of Sandbox Family Counseling, will teach you how to play with a purpose! Learn how to manage behavioral issues effectively without losing your cool and with humor by using fun, innovative, and effective approaches. Participants will also learn more about the concepts of play therapy and how it can impact your child. Q&A to follow.

THURSDAY, JAN. 14:
Chicago Children's Theatre's
Red Kite, Brown Box
Date and Times: Thursday, January 14, 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m.
Location: The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center

Red Kite, Brown Box is a joyful experience designed specifically for students on the autism spectrum. This interactive performance invites students on a sensory journey with Papa Nick and his children that includes a pillow fight, dance party, playing with flashlights and riding in a car. The adventure ends with a relaxing, calming lullaby that will fill each student with wonder. Presented in the Kimberly-Clark Theater. Pre-registration is required; seats for the performance are $5 and must be purchased in advance by calling (920) 730-3726 or online at foxcitiespac.com.

What About Me? What Children Who Have Siblings with Autism Want (and Need) Workshop Leader: Harriet Redman, WisconSibs, Inc.
Date and Time: Thursday, January 14, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Location: Appleton Public Library, downtown Appleton

Learn how autism plays a role in the lives of siblings through this interactive workshop which provides insights and strategies for meeting the needs of brothers and sisters growing up with a sibling who has autism. Led by Harriet Redman, Executive Director of WisconSibs, this workshop will leave you with ideas on how to best meet the needs of all members of your family.

FRIDAY, JAN. 15:
Chicago Children's Theatre's
Red Kite, Brown Box
Date and Times: Friday, Jan. 15, 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
Location: The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center

Red Kite, Brown Box is a joyful experience designed specifically for students on the autism spectrum. This interactive performance invites students on a sensory journey with Papa Nick and his children that includes a pillow fight, dance party, playing with flashlights and riding in a car. The adventure ends with a relaxing, calming lullaby that will fill each student with wonder. Presented in the Kimberly-Clark Theater. Pre-registration is required; seats for the performance are $5 and must be purchased in advance by calling (920) 730-3726 or online at foxcitiespac.com.

SATURDAY, JAN. 16:
Spectrum Saturday
Date and Time: Saturday, January 16, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location: The Building for Kids, downtown Appleton

Spectrum Saturday at The Building for Kids, sponsored by the Helen Thom Roemer Trust Fund of the Rotary Club of Appleton, allows children on the autism spectrum and their families free admission. Families must arrive between the hours of 9 a.m. - 10 a.m.; but are encouraged to stay as late as they wish. A lower sensory experience will be offered until 10 a.m. The Building for Kids Children's Museum is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

Drumming Up Confidence
Workshop Leader: Rhen Helling
Date and Time: Saturday, January 16, 1-2 p.m.
Location: Heid Music, downtown Appleton

Explore the effects of music on children with special needs with artist Rhen Helling. As a father of a son with autism, Rhen's first experience working with a child with special needs hit close to home. Through lessons with his son, Helling has discovered how instrument selection, limb independence and the benefits of rudimentary exercises can aid in their physical and emotional development.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT
Performances of Chicago Children's Theatre's Red Kite, Brown Box are sponsored by Mary A. Strange and the SAC Developmental Disabilities fund within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, Inc.

All children with autism registered and attending a performance of Chicago Children's Theater's Red Kite, Brown Box will be gifted a Bernie the Buddyfly. This special friend is a cuddlebug made by Scentsy and will be generously provided thanks to the Mielke Family Foundation, a supporting organization within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, Inc. Each doll purchased by the Foundation provided an $8 donation toward Autism Speaks which helps to fund global research and spread awareness.

Classroom Connections Teacher Workshop: Reaching Students with Autism Through the Arts is supported through the Armin F. and Eddie C. Schroeder Fund within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, Inc. This workshop is provided through the partnership between the Center and the Appleton Area School District in the Partners in Education program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center's Week of Community Autism Programming is sponsored by the Mielke Family Foundation, a supporting organization within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, Inc. and a grant from Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation.

All Community Engagement Activities are sponsored by Community First Credit Union.

Mission-based programming is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center would also like to recognize the community members, businesses and organizations hosting, leading and planning workshops and the committee of community contributors who helped make this week possible.

ABOUT THE FOX CITIES PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in downtown Appleton, provides a premier venue for live performing arts. Since 2002, the Center has proudly served as a gathering place for the community to engage in educational opportunities while enhancing a greater understanding and appreciation of the live performing arts. The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center - Where the Arts Come Alive!



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