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Arts 4 Autism hosted by Stages Theatre Company

Stages Theatre Company’s 1st Annual ARTS 4 AUTISM Event


Did you know there are over 16,000 individuals in Minnesota that have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, including 1 in 68 children.

The arts can provide a place to grow self esteem and communication skills in a safe environment.

Arts 4 Autism will feature a rotation of participatory program previews from various arts collaborators – theatre, visual art, music, and dance – as well as a sensory-friendly performance of Stages Theatre Company’s production, Stone Soup. Maci Spica, Minnesota Department of Education Autism Specialist, and Ellie Wilson from Institute of Community Integration, will present “Making Arts Part of the Puzzle,” a discussion about the transformational impact of arts participation on the lives of individuals with autism. The resource fair will be going on in the main lobby of the Hopkins Center for the Arts throughout the day. The resource fair and participatory preview are free to the public; tickets to Stone Soup and “Making Arts Part of the Puzzle” are $5 each.

Since 2012, Stages Theatre Company has been providing sensory-friendly programming in response to requests from families seeking arts programming for the children affected by autism.

Stages Theatre Company was the first professional theatre company in the Twin Cities to provide sensory-friendly performances and our CAST Program, an acting class, is designed specifically for youth with autism spectrum disorder.

Please join us for a day of arts and experiences, where everyone is welcome.




  • Hands on theatre art workshop with Stages Theatre Company  (Free)
  • Adaptive dance classes with River Valley Dance Academy  (Free)
  • Hands on music classes with Minnesota Sinfonia  (Free)
  • Hands on art classes with Articulture  (Free)
  • PLUS: A FREE COMMUNITY RESOURCE FAIR THROUGH OUT THE DAY!      *See a list of attending vendors below.


  • 10:00 am – Attend a Sensory-Friendly performance of Stone Soup. (COST: $5)
  • 1:00 pm – Keynote Speakers present: “MAKING ARTS PART OF THE PUZZLE” (COST: $5)
    • Maci Spica, MN Dept. of Ed. Autism Specialist
    • Ellie Wilson, Institiue of Community Integration

Call the box office at 952-979-1111, option 4 to reserve your spot today!

Child supervision provided during “Making Arts Part of the Puzzle,” for children 4-12 years old, who might not enjoy watching this presentation. Please have activities for your child, as this will not be a structured game time with a Stages teaching-artists. (Must be potty-trained for younger children).



Ellie WilsonELLIE WILSON is an Education Specialist and Project Coordinator for the UMN Institute on Community Integration. Before her time at ICI, Ellie was the Director of Education at the Autism Society of Minnesota, where she oversaw the development and delivery of interdisciplinary professional training as well as all community programming for children and adults on the spectrum. Ellie has pursued UMN Masters coursework in Public Health Administration and Policy, and became a fellow of two major programs: Fellowship for Leadership and Education in Neuro-Developmental Disabilities (LEND), and Education and Policy Fellowship for the Institute of Educational Leadership (IEL). She has also worked with hundreds of individuals and families affected by autism in home, school, clinical and community recreation settings.

Spica-MaciMACI SPICA, BCBA is the state Autism Spectrum Disorder and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports specialist at the Minnesota Department of Education and an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas. She is a board-certified behavior analyst and is licensed in special education with an endorsement in autism. Prior to working for the Department, she worked as a behavior/autism consultant in Alaska, Texas, and Minnesota and has volunteered internationally to develop programs for children with neurological diversity. Spica is committed to continuing work that supports best outcomes for students, families, and educators in MN.


Arts 4 Autism

Questions about the event or becoming a sponsor or vendor, click HERE!


Interact Center
Ordway Center for the Arts
and more!

St Davids
MNStateArtsBoardCleanWaterThis activity is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the State’s general fund and its arts and cultural heritage fund and a grant from Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota. 

Learn more about our SENSORY FRIENDLY THEATRE program

Hopkins Center for the Arts
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