Since its inception in 2012, Creative Citizen Studios or CCS has provided intensive accessibility workshops for museum educators and teaching artists at the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, Union Project, The Warhol Museum, The Mattress Factory, and the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse. CCS proudly employs qualified educators with disabilities in the accessibility training process whenever possible to add depth to the learning experience. Most recently, CCS has completed a data driven accessibility programmatic assessment at the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. Staff education sessions were conducted for The Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, The Warhol and the Carnegie Science Center. With each of these projects, it is our goal to empower cultural organizations to confidently welcome visitors with disabilities and make Creative Pittsburgh more accessible.
CCS also coordinated Touch Art, a series of tactile art workshops for adults who are blind or visually impaired at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. In this project, we trained a group of 4 teaching artists how to adapt their media to work with people who are visually impaired or blind and the participants shared their work in a touch-friendly exhibition where community artists were invited to learn more about how to accommodate visual impairments in the art studio.
In the weekly art classes for teens and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities at the Union Project we seek to cultivate professional portfolios for each artist. This includes an exploration of materials and concepts in thematic units as well as sharing their art through public exhibitions and community projects. Commissions for Citizen artists includes: artwork for the First Night Cultural Trust Parade, United Way From Rights to Actions Awards (2013 & 2014) and Good Life Juices illustration. Each artist is paid for their talent and creative contributions when hired for a commission. The Citizen Artists have participated in numerous art exhibitions including Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse, Irma Freeman Center for Imagination, Unblurred Studio 5013, The Art March in the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, exhibition in the Union Project lobby gallery, Crazy Mocha coffee shop in Bloomfield, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh theater gallery and a 6-month exhibition in the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council office space. One CCS artist, was the proud first place award winner of the Governors Art Contest in Harrisburg in 2014. With all of these public exhibitions and opportunities to profit from their creative talents, the CCS Citizen Artists are learning about what it means to build a meaningful life as an artist.