Wisconsin Initiative Gives New Venue for RCS Empowers Participants
Every other year, RCS Empowers, Inc. hosts an art show to allow its participants to share their art with the community. This annual event gives participants access to the feeling of pride and accomplishment that comes with passionately using their gifts. A growing Wisconsin non-profit organization is expanding those opportunities not only for RCS participants but also children and adults with disabilities throughout Wisconsin.
ARTS for ALL Wisconsin is a newly renamed but long-standing organization whose mission is to expand the capabilities, confidence, and quality of life for children and adults with disabilities throughout Wisconsin by providing programs in the arts. They began as a member of the Very Special Arts Affiliate Network, which started its work in the 1970s. A complete history of the organization can be found here.
ARTS for ALL Wisconsin has a wide range of programming commensurate with its years of service to the state and disabled community. Art classes from painting to music to theater are available for people with disabilities ages 16 and up at their Madison Art Center. They also offer programming for veterans and adults with early-stage memory diseases, as well as running various choirs across the state.
For many adults with disabilities, ARTS for ALL Wisconsin offers their only chance to showcase and sell their art. The organization represents adults with disabilities at multiple venues, including its own gallery on the north side of Madison. Perhaps most importantly, the creators of the art receive 70% of the proceeds from any sales.
Each year, the organization makes a “Call for Art.” Any person over the age of five residing in Wisconsin who identifies as disabled may submit an original creation of either a visual medium or a poem. Arts professionals judge the submitted works, and selected winners have their art entered into a special traveling exhibition that moves throughout the state. This is an excellent
opportunity for those not local to the Madison area to participate in the organization’s mission.
Following our 2022 RCS Art Show this past September, we celebrated many pieces of artwork, and many participants received awards. Afterward, we submitted twelve works to ARTS for ALL Wisconsin for their 2023 Creative Power Showcase. Below are the names of the participants who submitted their work to the showcase.
We are very excited to share that one of our artists, Richard Sherman, was chosen as an Honored Artist and received the Merit Award in the adult category. His piece titled “Watch Out for the Window” used various materials, and Richard particularly enjoyed using wood pieces to make all of the windows. Recently Richard was joined by his family at the showcase’s awards ceremony in Madison, WI, where he received recognition for his achievement and the chance to celebrate himself and his artwork.
Title of Piece
“This is Good”
“Fall Time Rut”
Colored Pencil Drawing
Acrylic and Marker
“Demon Slayer II”
“Watch Out for the Window”
Mixed Media Drawing