College of the Arts' Office of Education & Community Outreach Partners to Present Autism Benefit

The evening included an awards ceremony and arts presentations to raise funds to, in part, support autistic individuals' involvement with the arts.

The Office of Education and Community Outreach at Montclair State University, The Autism Center at UMDNJ, and ING presented LOUDER THAN WORDS – An Autism Benefit, on Thursday, October 1, 2009, at the Alexander Kasser Theater. The evening included a wine tasting, special awards ceremony, and performances by The Workshop Theatre Ensemble, a musical interlude, and poetry readings.

Photo includes Jeffrey L. Gitterman, President, Gitterman & Associates, LLC, [far left], and Kendell R. Sprott M.D.,J.D,Acting Chairman, Department of Pediatrics, UMDNJ, New Jersey Medical School, Interim Director, The Autism Center [far right].

Photo courtesy of McCarthy Productions, Inc.

Proceeds from the evening will support the continuation and expansion of The Workshop Theatre Training Program, now in its third year. In 2007, the College of the Arts at Montclair State University in partnership with the Autism Center at NJMS, developed a program called The Workshop: An Arts Based Model designed to help individuals with an autism spectrum disorder develop and strengthen their social skills as well as enhance their passion for the arts. The program is held on the MSU campus.


August - October 2009 - The Workshop: An Arts-based Model 2009

The Workshop, as originated in 2007, utilized a theatre module, designed to reach out to the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) community and create opportunities for personal growth through motivational and experiential programming. The project taught critical skills to the participants and provided systematic, asset-based, and developmental opportunities which leverage core motivations and curiosity. The goal of the initiative is to redefine the way we look at individuals with Autism and let their special talents and abilities lead the way to greater social, vocational, and pragmatic skills. The workshop was designed to increase dialogue and understanding between health and service providers, the arts community, families and individuals with (ASD). Evaluation for the program was conducted through participant surveys, clinical and arts staff observations and parent/caregiver surveys.

20th Annual International Conference

approaching health creatively

April 22 - 25, 2009


At the 2nd Annual International Film Festival of the SAH Conference, a short documentary about The Workshop received a 2nd Place Award.

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