Dancing with the special stars: SF students show talents, art on and off stage

Lyanne Melendez Image
Monday, May 29, 2023
SF special education students show talents, art on and off stage
EMBED <>More Videos

A group of special education students danced, performed music, and displayed their art projects at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It is said that "art promotes freedom of creative expression." A group of special education students displayed their art projects at the ACT in San Francisco on Friday.

Through dancing, these students communicated their feelings and emotions.

Like any other professional artist, their work was highlighted on stage and enjoyed by family and friends at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.

"We bring them here, they get to perform on stage, we provide technical support, through lights and sound and a stage manager and it's really about getting them that full experience from creating something to presenting it and sharing it with the world," explained Juan Manzo, Director of Education and Community Programs at the ACT.

VIDEO: Student with special needs meets George Kittle at 49ers game as his story inspires others

Being on stage teaches them about teamwork and growing socially while daring to try new challenges.

The Arc is a program within SFUSD designed specifically for 18 to 22-year-olds with disabilities and San Francisco is their classroom.

Heidi Seretan founded Arc in 2012.

"We help students gain important functional-like skills like getting a job, taking public transportation but also the things that are going to make them happy in life, like for me it's my hobbies, so what are they interested in, what are their passions, music, art, create expression?" added Seretan.

Off-stage, different art mediums were also on display and on sale. All the proceeds go directly to the artists and to help purchase their materials.

MORE: ABC7 Salutes 6 outstanding San Francisco high school seniors graduating in 2023

Francesca Smith now calls herself a digital artist.

"I've been doing art for a very long time now from when I was very young and I wanted to push to the boundaries of doing something new that's not on paper," said Smith.

Ruby Ensor discovered photoshopping and digital art.

She describes her body of work as being, "full of value, it's full of inspiration, full of color and full of everything, a fantasy."

Being on stage in front of dozens of people also gave them the chance to own the applause.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live