Above / Little Friends will display original artwork through Sun., May 28, 2017, at Schoenherr Gallery in the North Central College Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave., just steps from downtown Naperville. (PN File Photo)

During the artist’s reception on May 24, art created by Little Friends’ clients and students communicated self-expression that can be enhanced by technology.

Today, May 25, Little Friends celebrates its 52nd Anniversary with its annual “Day of Giving,” raising much-needed funds for classroom technology and technology infrastructure upgrades.

Technology is a versatile and necessary tool in the world of special education which supports a child’s ability to communicate and interact with the people in his or her world. Providing a visual and interactive mode of learning new academic concepts, it supports student-to-student collaboration.

With your support, more students will access additional modes of communication as well as cognitive and social interaction opportunities. Click here to make a donation and help Little Friends further its mission of empowering children, adults and families with special challenges to live, learn, work and thrive in their communities.


Little Friends is thrilled to present their first public art exhibit in Naperville, titled Everyone Is an Artist: The Art of Identity, Inclusion and Inspiration, this month at North Central College’s Schoenherr Gallery. Nearly 70 original works, across many mediums, will be displayed. More than 30 Little Friends clients, including students enrolled in Krejci Academy and Bridge and Mansion High Schools, as well as adults from Little Friends’ Inklude Studio, have submitted materials.

“This is an incredible opportunity for our artists. Art gives voice to those thoughts and feelings that cannot be expressed in words. It is empowering, and to have artwork exhibited for all to see and appreciate is a tremendous way to add value to a life,” says Nikki Bozzano, Inklude Studio Manager.

Little Friends artists have been working through the creative process for several months – forming an idea, choosing a medium, creating the work and submitting pieces for jurying.

Linda Mathews, Art Therapist and Clinical Coordinator at Krejci Academy, adds, “The creative process allows our students to develop self-expression and self-awareness and provides an opportunity to experience a sense of self-control and self-mastery.”

All artwork will be on display in Schoenherr Gallery in the Fine Arts Center at North Central College, 171 E. Chicago Avenue in Naperville,  from May 19 through May 28.

At right, photos depict artists at work!

Artists’ Reception 5:30-7PM May 24

An artists’ reception will be held in the gallery from 5:30PM until 7PM on Wed., May 24. During this reception, visitors will have an opportunity to meet some of the artists.

“I am so proud to be part of this exhibition. To present clients’ art with honor in a public gallery setting, not only gives value to their work, and, in turn, the artists themselves, but also provides an avenue for giving a voice to many who cannot do so with words. The exhibition allows us to raise awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorders, and hopefully encourages a greater understanding and appreciation of our clients’ challenges and their triumphs,” states Bozzano.

Everyone Is an Artist: The Art of Identity, Inclusion and Inspiration is made possible, in part, by a generous donation from the Joliet Woman’s Club, whose 2016 gift helped fund art and music education at Krejci Academy.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to the Joliet Woman’s Club for their generosity to and support of art and music education in our school programs,” states Renee Miklosik, Assistant Vice President for Development and External Relations. “This opportunity would also not be possible without the support of North Central College. To host us in their premier arts venue is a thrill for students, clients, staff and donors. North Central College has been a wonderful friend and neighbor to Little Friends and this is just one more example of the College’s commitment to their community.”

Little Friends, Inc.

At Little Friends, we believe that every one of our clients has a right to a fulfilling life of dignity, independence and respect. So do their families. That right is universal, regardless of challenge. We empower clients with autism and other developmental disabilities to thrive in our community. Little Friends’ groundbreaking programs and nationally-renowned staff provide lifelong opportunities for growth, so our clients can work, learn, play and experience the joy of life’s everyday moments. Fulfilling Lives –Regardless of Challenge. To learn more, please visit us at www.littlefriendsinc.org.

Story and photos submitted by Tom Zimmerman, Director of Development Operations, for Little Friends, Inc.

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