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About Able ARTS Work

Our Organization

Able ARTS Work was established in 1982 in response to the historic inequitable treatment and lack of community resources available to autistic and developmentally disabled people. For far too long, these capable individuals were not afforded equal educational, living, leisure, and vocational opportunities. Able ARTS Work was founded as a nonprofit organization to provide inclusive services for those with developmental disabilities and autism through creative arts therapies and education, including music, dance, movement, theater, and visual arts.


Since 1982, Able ARTS Work has expanded to provide creative arts enrichment to marginalized and underserved communities, as well as at-risk youth throughout Southern California. We forge community partnerships with local businesses and community members in the spirit of social responsibility, as well as the understanding that it is through the arts that substantial growth is possible for everyone and that everyone is entitled to grow.


At Able ARTS Work, our vision and philosophy is based on psychologist A. Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs: “Love Before Learning. Learn for Life.” The love, support, and sense of belonging that Able ARTS Work has proudly provided since 1982, has helped countless individuals realize their full potential.


The primary mission of Able ARTS Work is to provide lifelong learning, community service and vocational opportunities through the creative arts for people of all abilities and all ages in an environment of warmth, encouragement and inclusion. Able ARTS Work provides unique development opportunities to all participating staff, students and partnering community members, together we grow.


Love Before Learning.

Learn for Life.

Cultural Equity Statement

Able ARTS Work supports a full creative life for all and upholds standards and practices that value the contributions of a diverse community.

Core Values

Love, Partnership, Creativity, Opportunity, Progressive, Integrity, Stewardship, Ability

  • We value the person first.

  • We value sharing experiences, building community and forging an inclusive society.

  • We value the creative arts as a vital tool to liberate and transform lives.

  • Through acceptance, encouragement and empowerment, we provide unique opportunities for growth and self-expression.

  • We are dedicated to always moving forward to best serve the needs of our community and to break down barriers of stigma.

  • We celebrate and support unique ability and contribution

  • We are honest and ethical in our leadership, influence and service delivery

  • We are committed to respectfully managing our resources.














We believe all people…

…,regardless of functional capability, have a right and responsibility, to contribute to the well being of their community and have a vocation of their choosing.

…should have access to an informed and supportive community, which must play a vital role in removing the barriers to full involvement and inclusion.

…should have access to the expressive arts in vocation, education, leisure, health and wellness.

…have the right to express and practice their cultural and artistic heritage.

We believe all people regardless of functional capability should be treated with dignity and respect, thus our philosophy and vision...

Love Before Learning. Learn for Life.

Our Leadership Team

Able ARTS Work's team of instructors and therapists are visual artists, music therapists, performers and expressive arts therapists who are professionals in their discipline.  Our team is inspired by out-of-the box thinking and wholeheartedly understands the intimate relationship between self-discovery and the creativity of each individual. Here a few faces that make up the amazing Able ARTS Work team.

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Our Board

Able ARTS Work’s volunteer Board of Directors are passionate advocates of our mission to provide lifelong learning and vocational opportunities to people of all abilities and all ages. The board is composed of leaders from the local community and has wide expertise in areas relevant to Able ARTS Work’s mission, ranging from law and business leadership to music therapy.


Able ARTS Work has a growing and dynamic mission, which demands a growing and dynamic board. Please reach out if you share the passion and are interested in joining our board.

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