Creativity explored, explored : how an innovative San Francisco art community is opening doors for artists with disabilities



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This is an exploratory case study of Creativity Explored (CE), a non-profit art center in San Francisco, California, that serves adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The purpose of the study is to address the following questions: How does Creativity Explored facilitate personal and professional growth in adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities? Using Creativity Explored as a model, what can we learn about best practices in community-based art programs that serve adults with disabilities? Multiple methods of data collection were utilized, including examination of pertinent literature and documents, visual documentation, observations, and interviews with administrators and staff, who were selected to provide a breadth and depth of knowledge about various aspects of the CE program. Conclusions were drawn about four major areas of the program: its “art community” model; its benefits for participating artists; the values, practices, and strategies that have contributed to its longevity and success; and the challenges that it has confronted as an organization.