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Arts for All

The Tucson J is one of Southern Arizona’s largest providers of disability services. Through our Taglit Day Program and Arts for All, we offer an array of programming dedicated to our community of young adults with disabilities.

The Arts for All Mission

The arts enrich the lives of everyone! Arts for All is a leader in providing accessible arts education in Tucson. Our mission is to build confidence and promote self-esteem by providing creative experiences to adults with physical and cognitive disabilities who might not otherwise have access to art. 

What We Do

Our day program aims to help adults with disabilities build confidence, gain meaningful relationships, and develop performing and visual arts skills. We offer daily classes in dance, drama, music, exercise, ceramics, painting, and sketching. In addition, we bring adult participants to shows (Arizona Drama Company, Borderlands, Invisible Theatre, and others), parks, pools for therapeutic swimming, libraries, and the local museum. We also invite adults to audition for our dance company and drama ensembles. Throughout the day, options are presented to enable increased independence and self-confidence.

Our focus on accessibility and innovation guides our work, offering unique approaches to art-making, such as Laser Art Technique. LAT, a method devised for mobility, is rapidly gaining popularity in the art world. By using a laser mounted on custom headgear, the artist can direct their artistic creations through the laser to a tracker. A tracker will act as the artist’s hands. It also stands by the canvas and paints what the artist directs. 

Arts for All is a branch of the Tucson J’s Disability Program Services. Arts for All programs are housed at the Arts for All building located at 2520 N Oracle Rd, Tucson, AZ 85705. 

Sample schedule

  • 8:00 a.m. – Coffee/Social Time
  • 9:00 a.m. – Drama/Ceramics
  • 10:00 a.m. – Ceramics/Drama (Note: Some Leave for the Field Trip)
  • 11:00 a.m. – Wheel Throwing/Exercise
  • 12:00 p.m. – Lunch
  • 1:00 p.m. – Dance/Games
  • 2:00 p.m. – Weekly Reflections
  • 3:00 p.m. – Relaxation
  • 3:30 p.m. – Snack
  • 4:00 p.m. – Art
  • 5:00 p.m. – Music

Contact Frank Hernandez, Director of Arts for All, with questions and inquiries.

EMAIL fhernandez@tucsonjcc.org

Our History

It all started in 1985, when Marcia Berger, a Tucson pediatric physical therapist, started an after-school program called Third St. Kids. Her idea was simple: bring the performing arts into the lives of children with and without disabilities.

The following year, Steven L. Sles, founder of Arts for All, Inc., gave the nonprofit organization to Marcia. Since that humble beginning 36 years ago, our association has dedicated itself to delivering high-quality art education and experiences for children with and without disabilities and adults with disabilities. It’s done through innovative programs that combine the arts and human services, such as the Adult Day Program, Out-of-School Time, and Winter and Summer Arts Camps.

While other nonprofits have moved away from supporting this special-needs population, Arts for All, Inc. has stayed committed to helping those most in need. Physical, cognitive, and learning difficulties; vision and hearing impairments; emotional disturbances; mental illness; behavior issues; autism; and seizure disorders are among them.

It hasn’t been an easy path to travel year after year, but Marcia and our staff have remained committed to offering vital artistic experiences that would not otherwise be available. The devotion and efforts have paid off. Thousands of people’s lives have been improved, countless families have improved their health and well-being, and the Tucson community has benefited as a result.

Over the years, the community and professionals in the art sector have been noticed. Moreover, accolades and awards have been given. Arts for All, Inc. was honored with the Governor’s Arts Award for Community Organization in 2008. Our company also received the Tucson Pima Arts Council Award for Arts Education Organization in 2006.

In 2003, Arts for All, Inc. received the Producing Theatre Company Award from the Arizona Theatre Alliance, was chosen as a beneficiary by Angel Charity for Children, and was selected as an AmeriCorps site. In August 2000, our ensemble company performed at the 5th International Abilympics in Prague, Czech Republic. In 2019, we received the Governor’s Arts Award for Arts in Education – Organization.

The awards mentioned are only a partial list of the accomplishments received by a wonderful arts organization that has served the Tucson community for more than 36 years.

Our Staff

Frank Hernandez is originally from Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico, and is an accomplished musician, composer, and teacher. He came to the United States for his primary and secondary education. After graduating from high school, Frank joined the international travel company Up with People. During his time with the company, he traveled across the United States and Europe, spreading a message of multicultural diversity, acceptance, and community service. 

After this experience, Frank joined Arts for All, Inc. to assist with its development, and now he is the Assistant Director of the organization. Frank has composed the scores for productions of Where the Wild Things Are, Antigone, The Hobbit, Babe the Sheep-Pig, and Arts for All Inc.’s own Aladdin. He has been the Music Director and Vocal Coach for all of Arts for All, Inc.’s musical productions.

Frank has traveled extensively as a motivational speaker while sharing his music. Former Governor Janet Napolitano appointed him to the Board of Directors of Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and Blind. He is the past President of the Children’s Music Network and the Music Director at Enchanted Hills Baptist Church.

Frank was chosen by the US Department of Health to present in Mexico City at a conference in 2002. In 1998, he served on the President’s Committee on Employment for People with Disabilities. In 1997, he received a President’s Citation for Volunteerism. In 1990, he was the Program Chair for the National Council on Disabilities’ Youth Leadership Program.

Donate to Arts for All

When you donate to Arts for All, you share in the J’s service pledge to create community based on Jewish values by offering the highest quality programs and services to all people of all ages. As a 501 (c)(3) organization, donations made to Arts for All via the Tucson J are tax deductible. 

We greatly appreciate your support. Please reach out to Fran Katz, Director of Development, at fkatz@tucsonjcc.org with any questions.  

Participants in Taglight around a table

Taglit and Arts for All are a Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) vendor and accept adults who are registered with the DDD. Those who are not with DDD may pay privately. Contact the emalin@tucsonjcc.org for private pay pricing.