I'll keep this pretty simple, because it's as simple as saying "yes". I sent a request to a local pub, asking them to show Madison's artwork for the month of April. Specifically for Autism Awareness Month. Sometimes this month has fatigued me. I have mixed emotions and thoughts regarding autism awareness. It can be exhausting emotionally. If you're in the autism community, you're basically bombarded with information, conflicting viewpoints, tragic stories, heartwarming videos, and sometimes even resentment and hostility. But this month can also be super powerful for those of us who want our kids to be heard and have a place in this world. So, April 2018, I did reach out to be active. I wrote a request to Schatzi's Pub and Bier Garden to host Madison's artwork for the month. Jeremy, the owner of Schatzi's did in fact give me a genuine "yes". And I was EXCITED! Schatzi's is a really cool place and I knew her artwork would look fabulous there. And To be honest, you just don't know how these requests are going to work out. So you have to be prepared for the '"no" or simply being overlooked. "No's" are a part of life and they're ok to hear sometimes. They make us work harder. Jeremy was just the warmest host. And his staff had such thoughtful compliments towards Madison's artwork. I knew it was in a respectful space. This was a good decision.
And since this time, I've met other parents, on social media or in person that ask me how I did this. Their children are artists, young and old. Did we know the owner? Was that your pub? Nope and nope. I just asked. I tell them, just pick a place and ask. Are you sure? What if they say no? He doesn't have formal art training. These are questions and concerns parents like us have.
This is such unchartered territory for parents. And for some people who don't live in an area where art is fostered in the community, it's even more difficult to wrap your head around this concept. I get it. 100%.
So what? What do you have to lose?? Nothing. Art is intimidating. Autism is intimidating. For most people. We do this to boost their confidence. Be as strong as your child is everyday and put yourself out there.
One mom contacted me, after no success, discouraged. "Maybe I'm too biased and they don't see what I see?", she said. Oh..my... God....I have been there and that SUCKS. Stop that now.
And listen to this.....I promise you....you WILL find a Jeremy. And you WILL find a beautiful space.
And eventually, after some time, she showed someone our photos and what Jeremy welcomed into his pub and that person said "yes" too and her son's artwork will soon be on a wall for the public to see. They live in a small, deep southern town.