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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

  • 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.

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 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.

Our Staff

Frank Hernandez – Arts for All Director 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.

After this experience, Frank joined Arts for All to assist with its development. Frank has composed the scores for productions of ‘Where the Wild Things Are’, ‘Antigone’, ‘The Hobbit’, ‘Babe the Sheep-Pig’, and Arts for All’s own ‘Aladdin.’

Former Governor Janet Napolitano appointed him to the Board of Directors of Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and Blind. In 1998, he served on the President’s Committee on Employment for People with Disabilities. In 1990, he was the Program Chair for the National Council on Disabilities’ Youth Leadership Program.

“I have dreamed of a future where every Tucsonan with and without disabilities would have barrier free access to artistic programing and Arts for All has given me the opportunity to in many ways make this dream come true. Arts for All’s message of inclusion and access deeply resonates with me and I’m excited to help our participants find their voice through the visual and performing Arts.”

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 fkatz@tucsonjcc.org with any questions.  

Participants in Taglight around a table