Fall 2021 Newsletter

| August 25, 2021

What? College classes start this week. This summer just sped by! We were all so happy to be at least partially out of COVID confinement that we crammed as much fun and adventure as we could into this summer. We surfed, kayaked, went whitewater rafting, enjoyed playing in the parks and hiking through the hills.

Now we are settling into the fall semester. Autistry is launching a hybrid model – some remote activities and some in-studio activities. We are keeping the group sizes small (no more than 6 students), wearing masks when indoors, and following COVID check-in protocols. For the Autistry Comprehensive Adult Program (ACAP) we are offering two new classes: the Tinker Workshop and the Drama Workshop.

The Tinker Workshop, led by Dan Swearingen and Emily Andersen, brings the maker spirit into the day program. Dan is excited to share his love of model building with the students. Emily grew up surrounded by makers and brings a passion for teaching and creating. They will be assisted by a returning mentor, James Dinkelspiel who this year graduated from UC San Diego with a degree in Aerospace Engineering. Students will learn basic project skills, measuring, cutting, construction, and, along the way refresh their basic math abilities. Projects include building gliders, kites, bird houses and whatever else strikes our fancy.

Tim Flavin and Shelby Green lead the new Drama Workshop. Tim recently returned from England where he had a long career on stage and in film. He was also the Director of Musical Theatre at The Arden School of Theatre in Manchester for several years. Shelby is a long-time friend of Autistry with years of experience working with children and families. A great team to launch the new Autistry Drama Program!

We continue to support students taking courses at College of Marin or other institutions. This semester we have students taking Anthropology, Communication, Multimedia, Game Development, Early Childhood Education, Study Skills, and courses in the Medical Assisting Program. A very full schedule of academic endeavor at Autistry. And the Paid Internship Programs at Cadence Farm and the Western Railway Museum are going strong.

The Autistry Maker Incubator: we finally have the keys to 850 4th Street, San Rafael. The interior construction will begin soon as we convert this glorious open space into a large workshop, retail space and coffee bar. This is an ambitious undertaking and one that we are confident will be a huge success. The downtown location provides the opportunity for Autistry staff and students to become vibrant and productive members of the San Rafael community. We look forward to sharing our creative projects with the community while serving up a hot cup of coffee. Here is what we are starting with – we will post updates as the Maker Incubator takes shape:

This is a very exciting time at Autistry and a great time to join the Autistry team. We are hiring dynamic individuals for part-time and full-time mentor positions. You will work with a stellar staff and amazing students doing a job that doesn’t feel like work! To learn more, email info@autistry.com and we will schedule an interview.

I rarely ask for donations in a newsletter, but this is a time of great growth for Autistry. So many new programs that will allow us to serve many more people. If you would like to support us as we create these new ventures please go to our Donations Page. It has been the support of our community that has kept us going and growing for nearly 14 years.

Thank you!
Janet, Dan, Sara and the Autistry Team