What does the future look like to those with intellectual, developmental disabilities?
The Arc of Luzerne County displays 'beautiful and creative' work at Third Friday Wilkes-Barre art walk
What do you see when you think about the future?
Is it a big house? Plenty of kids? A life of travel, or perhaps settling down in the town you grew up?
Every one vision differs from the next, depending upon who is creating it. Last year, a local organization that seeks to improve the quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families asked such individuals what their vision of the future was – and the results were astounding.
“The artwork is beautiful and creative,” said Pam Zotynia, executive director of The Arc of Luzerne County.
“Many of these artists are extremely talented, and we hope to encourage them to continue creating their art to share with the world.”
The Arc will take part in this month’s Third Friday Wilkes-Barre art walk, showcasing its “Vision of OUR Future” art project at Midtown Village (41 S. Main St., Wilkes-Barre).
The Arc of Luzerne County is a grassroots organization that was formed in 1952. The group does various types of work in the community, from a Community Resource Center and the educational puppet program Kids on the Block Puppets to the Independent Monitoring for Quality (IM4Q) project, aimed at researching the overall quality of life for people who receive support through the Office of Developmental Programs in Pennsylvania.
“About a year ago, we asked people with disabilities of all ages from all around the Commonwealth to create their vision of the future so they could show us what they dream of and what they hope their lives look like in the future,” Zotynia explained.
“Many people with disabilities don’t communicate in a traditional manner; the artwork they created is their voice. We thought we might get 30 or 40 submissions, but we ended up receiving close to 300 images.”
The Arc hopes to compile all the works into a book, so they are accepting donations to cover the production costs.
Some of the artists’ aspirations are what you might expect, while others will surely surprise – and delight – viewers.
“You will see people’s hopes and dreams,” Zotynia said.
“Some dream of owning a home, some dream of having a job, some dream of having a loving family – mostly the same things we all dream of having. But there is the occasional futuristic robot thrown in as well!”
by Sara Pokorny
Sara is a NEPA native, New England transplant - marketing whiz by day, journalist by night. Lover of all things food and fashion.