As a psychology major and self-proclaimed amateur artist, I was motivated to plan an event inspired by art therapy and so, on the evening of Friday, April 27th, the Paint & Sip for Autism fundraiser took place at La Pittura in New York City. While not explicitly art therapy related, the event was intentionally art focused. For the event, the wonderful La Pittura staff helped guide us in a painting of a beautiful waterfall. In a way, the event itself can be considered therapeutic in that it allowed attendees to improve their moods by participating in a relaxing activity in a supportive space.

The event included amazing raffles with donations from brands such as Beacon’s Closet, Spell Polish, Church Street Boxing, The Yoga Collective, Sir Kensington’s, Eat Pastry, Kosas Cosmetics, Good Karma Foods, White Rabbit New York, Bullet Journal, Drink Copper Cup, Marich, Blue Q, Vegan Rob’s, Golden Paints, LAICALE Salon, Nutpods, Just, Jet Pens, and Nomad Trading Co.

People of all ages and painting skill levels showed up to the event to support the American Autism Association. It was a wonderful opportunity for the community to connect. Friendships were kindled and conversations about their connection to the autism community, why autism advocacy is vital, and the work done by the American Autism Association, such as the the Help Hotline and therapeutic recreational programs like soccer, ballet, and horseback riding.

The event ended Autism Awareness Month on a high note and offered those in the autism community to come together and take part in a joyful painting session while raising money for an important cause. Altogether, my fundraising efforts have raised over $600 for the American Autism Association and it could not have been done without the support of this amazing community!

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