Lisa Cohn, Linda Lee, and Michael Lewis – The Jonno’s Place Arts Circle
The Jonno’s Place Arts Circle is a weekly inclusive studio arts program for older teens with and without special needs. Co-founders, Lisa Cohn, Linda Lee, and Michael Lewis of Belfast, Maine, USA designed the program to provide young artists who have developmental disabilities with a safe and supportive space to work alongside typical peers, where they can learn and create together.
The program is facilitated by an art therapist and is based on the philosophy that regardless of an individual’s abilities, the essential core that makes us all human remains whole. The program’s mission is to create a compassionate community for those who, because of their special needs, are often isolated from the community at large. Using art as the vector, Jonno’s Place addresses the physical, social, emotional, spiritual, and educational needs of this special population.
Some of the areas of growth that the program addresses include: building trust, emotional regulation, sensory tolerances, enhanced communication skills, and spatial boundaries. Through artistic expression the program builds community and supports and honors each individual.