A5 Art Festival Celebrates Autistic Creativity

By Renee Speh

UUS hosted the annual Awesome Autism Awareness and Acceptance Art Festival (A5) on April 13. This year’s theme was “Stitching a Community – themes on quilts and connection.”

2019 A5 Art Festival
A5 Art Festival exhibits. See more images in the gallery below.

We had a huge crowd of families, individuals on the spectrum, and art admirers. Several community service providers and artists engaged kids in art projects (UUS member Stephanie Van Housen brought her loom!)

Our favorite therapy dog Luke provided extensive support and encouragement to all. The Yahoo Drummers shared a drumming circle.

We dedicated it this year to my friend Lisa Burns who created this festival. She founded it in memory of her mother who was an artist, and as the mother of an autistic child she wanted to showcase the multifaceted talent of autistic people. She believed in the inherent good and brilliance in everyone. We lost her to cancer last fall. 

We had the privilege of presenting one of her sons with a quilt honoring her memory and the work she did for the autism community in the Iowa City area. This quilt was sewn, thanks to volunteers from the Old Capitol Quilter’s Guild, from squares designed by local students.

I heard countless compliments on the space, and comments on how well A5 fits in with the building. Thank you sincerely from all of us at A5!

Image gallery

Click on the first image below to view the gallery in a larger format.