PGC Fires Up for Autism Acceptance Month
This First Friday, Pittsburgh Glass Center partnered with Evolve Coaching to host a Hot Jam recognizing Autism Acceptance Month featuring Pittsburgh-based illustration artist Chas Chasler and his character Guber the Ferret. The recording of the event can be found on Pittsburgh Glass Center’s Facebook page.
PGC glass artists collaborated with Chas and other staff from Evolve Coaching to help Guber the Ferret come to life. This event provided an opportunity to spotlight neurodivergent artists and Evolve’s support of individuals with disabilities in education, employment, and the arts. Evolve works with people throughout various stages of their lives, from high school students to college to job seekers. At Friday’s event Heather Conroy, co-founder and executive director of Evolve, stated, “It’s really important to think about diversity in all forms.” By kicking off Autism Acceptance Month with this partnership, PGC aims to foster an inclusive and welcoming environment while supporting diverse artists.
The Hot Jam also showcased Chas and his work as an illustration artist. He shared that his character Guber was based on his good friend Paul, and used elements of his personality and clothing to influence the look of the character. Though Chas has not worked with glass before, he was able to use his own experiences and ideas as an artist to contribute to this exciting collaboration. You can find more of Chas’s work and support him at www.chasillustrations.com.
On their website, Evolve describes their mission and the importance of their work, stating:
Evolve provides highly specialized coaching services to more than 200 people each year in the Pittsburgh area, helping these individuals become integrated and productive members of the local community. Neurodiverse adults require a spectrum of support that is just as diverse as the people themselves. Living independently, navigating the college environment, making friends, and transitioning to the workplace are common challenges faced by the population we serve. Through one-on-one coaching services, social groups, and peer mentorship, Evolve provides each client with individualized support to help them meet their goals.
Upcoming events at Evolve during this month include an art show at Hop Farm Brewing on April 17 from 11am–6pm. Roadkill Gallery and Evolve Coaching partnered to host this "See Us," a pop-up art exhibit highlighting local neurodivergent artists in collaboration with Hop Farm Brewing and Contemporary Craft. Visitors can purchase the works displayed at the show to support these artists and celebrate Autism Acceptance Month. 100% of the proceeds from art sales will go directly to the artists.
In addition, the award-winning and newly accessible film Parallels, written and produced by a majority Autistic cast and crew in Pittsburgh, has just been featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to recognize Autism Acceptance Month. You can view the newly accessible Parallels online now. If you or someone you know is interested in adding accessible features to video content, reach out to Evolve on their website or social media.
By CJ Dawson, Pittsburgh Glass Center Intern
Learn more about Chas and his illustration work at www.chasillustrations.com.
Learn more about Evolve Coaching and their programs at www.evolve-coaching.org.
Learn more about Autism Acceptance Month at the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN).
At Pittsburgh Glass Center we are committed to providing an environment that is inclusive and welcoming to all patrons. If an accommodation can help you fully participate in our programs, please reach out to our Outreach & Accessibility Coordinator Courtney Clemm. Learn more about diversity, equity, inclusion, and access at PGC at www.pittsburghglasscenter.org/diversity.