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.
- 8am – Welcoming/Social Time
- 9am – Drama
- 10am – Ceramics (Note: Some leave for an outing)
- 11am – Wheel Throwing/Exercise
- 12pm – Lunch
- 1pm – Dance/Games
- 2pm – Music
- 3pm – End of Program and Reflection
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 Charlie Paige, Director of Disability Program Services, with questions and inquiries.
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 gave the nonprofit organization to Marcia. Since that humble beginning 36 years ago, Arts for All has dedicated itself to delivering high-quality art education and experiences for adults with disabilities. It’s done through innovative programs that combine the arts and human services.
In August 2000, our ensemble company performed at the 5th International Abilympics in Prague, Czech Republic. In 2003, Arts for All received the Producing Theatre Company Award from the Arizona Theatre Alliance. We also received the Tucson Pima Arts Council Award for Arts Education Organization in 2006. In 2019, we received the Governor’s Arts Award for Arts in Education. In 2022, Arts for All integrated with the Tucson J.
Diane Crenshaw is originally from a small town in Ohio, though Tucson has been her home for more years than anywhere else. She and her husband enjoy spending time with their large family of six adult children and two grandchildren.
Art is her first passion, and she has created pieces using various media since childhood. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Arizona and has shown pieces in local galleries and the UofA Museum of Art.
Diane has taught art to children and adults throughout the city at libraries and school programs, Tucson Clay Co-op, City of Tucson Parks and Recreation, and The Drawing Studio. She was the Ceramics teacher at Arts For All in 2010 and 2011.
Inspiring others in artistic endeavors led Diane into the educational setting, teaching Waldorf curriculum at Desert Sky Community School. She then moved into a First Grade teaching position at Tucson Country Day School. During this time, she completed her Master’s in Education program, obtaining her Special Education certification and transferred into the school’s Special Education Department.
Diane then moved to Da Vinci Tree Academy as a Special Education Teacher and was promoted the next year to Director of the Special Education Department. She taught Remedial Math classes and worked with students from Kindergarten through eighth grade.
“Art is a language beyond words. We can communicate that which we are not yet conscious of, growing into our authentic selves, through artistic expression. This is the key that unlocks each person’s inner reality, and the world becomes a more beautiful place, one discovery at a time.”
Harriett Morton – Art Teacher has been a teaching artist at Arts for All for 19 years. Prior to working at Arts for All, Harriett made a living as an artist and was inspired by her work in hospice to teach art to adults with disabilities. She liked Arts for All’s mission to bring the arts to everyone and their vision to adapt art to fit each participant.
“I can’t imagine not being able to express myself. So many people have told our participants that they can’t – they can do anything. Participants in my class know the word ‘can’t’ isn’t allowed in my class.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.