Learn and Grow

The Dresner Soul Studio is a sanctuary for budding artists with special needs. The artists will work alongside professional facilitators and may choose from eight different mediums, including: painting, ceramics, weaving, woodworking, photography and digital arts. Completed artwork will be exhibited in the gallery for the public to view and purchase.

After hours, the Dresner Soul Studio will be a hub of activity for other Friendship Circle programs and will give children with special needs the opportunity to develop their creative talents. The studio will also host community activities for stimulating hands­on experiences and can be used to teach children about their Jewish heritage.

The art studios are dedicated in honor of Joseph and Vera Dresner of blessed memory, in recognition of the extraordinary impact their legacy has on this project and our community.


As the artists enter and participate in programs, they develop skills that can turn into tangible projects that have a physical representation of the artist’s hard work, and gives them confidence throughout the learning process by having an end product for all to view.

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Most artists enter Soul Center programs not knowing what creative skills they may have. The environment created at Soul Center and the resources made available help the artist discover what abilities they have within themselves and are given the opportunity to seek them out and hone these skills to allow their soul to shine through their creativity and artwork.

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As an added benefit to Soul Center participants, any artwork the artist completes will have the opportunity to be displayed in the gallery for purchase. Artists receive a commission from each sale made in the gallery.

View Store


Since the idea for the Soul Center was created and our first programs were piloted, we have discovered many artists within our special needs community. You can read some of their stories below.


There are not enough words to describe the Soul Center volunteers, but a few would be: supportive, skillful, dependable, scaled and enthusiastic. The volunteers are essential for our programs and help bring their own ideas and expertise to the table and the fantastic environment they help create would not be possible without their help and support.

Volunteer Survey