Children with disabilities face a number of challenges. Often, school proves difficult and extracurricular activities are off limits. For many children with disabilities, art opens doorways, allowing them to express themselves in ways they never could before. The Fayetteville Museum of Art is hoping to help them open that door, and a very special event on Saturday, May 31 is a first step.
    {mosimage}The second annual Spectacular Arts Festival on Saturday, May 31, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., will be held at the Dorothy Gilmore Recreational Center. The festival is designed for children with disabilities. The event gives them and their families the opportunity to participate in an entertaining and creative environment.
    “We gear it for pre-school children ages 0-5,” said Lisette Young, director of education at the Fayetteville Museum of Art. “We will have six art tables set up for the children to create art.”
    Young added that the tools used are designed for the diverse students and their different types and levels of disabilities. Disabilities may range from mild, moderate or severe.
    “We will have resource tables, too,” said Young. “I contacted local agencies that offer help or assistance to children with disabilities and their families.”
    Young added that there will be 13 agencies on site. Beyond putting families in touch with those agencies, the staff at the museum hopes the community will begin to see the museum as a resource. Young explained that the FMA has a special needs educator who goes out to Cumberland County Schools and other organizations to share with educators and others the kinds of artistic projects that can be done with students with disabilities. The fun-filled activities include a bubble machine, face painting, balloons, tattoos, trackless train rides, a paint wall and tents for children to sit inside if they are sensitive to heat.
    The Fayetteville Symphony Duo will provide musical entertainment. They will play children’s songs with their string instruments. the Fayetteville Fire Department, The Fayetteville Police Department and the Cumberland County Headquarters Library mascot will be on hand. The Grey Seal Puppets will present a puppet show entitled Salsa Cinderella. Lunch will be provided by CiCi’s Pizza and a cool treat of ice cream will be provided by Cold Stone Creamery.
    “This is a comfortable and fun event for children with disabilities and their families,” said Young. “Children with all disabilities are welcome.”
    Admission is free. The Dorothy Gilmore Recreational Center is located at 1600 Purdue Drive. For more information call 485-5121.

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