Chairs of Inclusion – An Idea Come to Life

The Chairs of Inclusion concept was born about four years ago, when a group of women from Jewish Federation visited the WAE Center to learn about our program.

JSDD’s WAE Center was founded on the belief and knowledge that each individual possesses the potential for creating a meaningful life, a process we call “Finding the Spark Within.” Inclusion is implemented every single day by facilitators trained to bring people of diverse abilities together as equals.

As this group of women sat around the conference table talking about inclusion a light bulb went off.  We, ourselves, were such a diverse group, with different talents and abilities. Yet, as we all took a seat at the table, we became equals in the conversation. It was Renie Carniol and I who looked at one another and simultaneously said: “Chairs of Inclusion.”

Putting the Chairs of Inclusion project together has been a collaborative effort which has come at the perfect time to celebrate the WAE Center’s tenth anniversary. JSDD’s Board, the professional staff and all of our members have joined in bringing this project to life.

Our artists have been very invested in this process since the first professionals started working with us in October 2013. Each lead artist brought a unique style of collaboration to the project, and members were personally drawn to different concepts and materials.  The possibilities presented to them tweaked their imagination and resulted in a real sense of accomplishment.

The professional artists themselves have shared with me what an amazingly transformative experience they had while collaborating on the chairs. Over the next few weeks, you’ll meet many of the artists in this blog, and learn more about their experiences and the chairs they created.