The Arts Of Life
We are people with and without disabilities creating an artistic culture to realize our full potential.
The Arts of Life opened in 2000 on Chicago’s near west side and was the first Alternative Day Program in Chicago for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities that focused on artistic, vocational opportunities. The three founding members were an artist with an intellectual disability, a self-taught unconventional artist, and a professional in the field of developmental disabilities. They came together to address a need created when jobs traditionally given to people with disabilities became sparse. Nine other adults with disabilities joined them to embark upon a shared vision: to create a person-centric, artistic community that provided a work environment of equality.
After eight years of proven success in supporting artists with disabilities, The Arts of Life launched its North Shore program in 2010. Today, The Arts of Life has two professional art studios that support over sixty artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities to explore a variety of artistic mediums.