News Post

Connecting Through Art
Pia Lauder


Several years ago, Vista created a set of nine Core Values that describe what is important to us as we work to impact the lives of individuals with disabilities and the broader community. For 2022, we have chosen to focus our blog series on these Core Values - telling the story of our students and members and our organization through this important and powerful lens.


Vista offers many opportunities for its students and members to celebrate the Core Value of Community & Human Connection through the Create Art Program, a unique community arts program for artists of all abilities that offers classes in literary, performing and visual arts.

Vista Arts Coordinator Katie Fogg oversees art instruction and curriculum. "We offer a variety of creative platforms such as drawing, painting, sculpture, and many other artistic areas." Katie continues, "Each class gives me the opportunity to witness students sharing their passion for the arts and teaching each other different skills through artistic expression." Katie explains the joy of art collaboration: "As an artist, you have strengths and weaknesses within different art skills; working collaboratively is the best way to grow."

Vista Arts Coordinator Katie Fogg leads art instruction during Create class

Vista art classes foster artistic expression and curiosity among all students and members. We have seen how the arts can transform students and members, resulting in increased self-esteem and readiness to interact with their peers and community. Kelsey, an Engage member and Connect Through Art student, discusses how Vista's visual arts-based day program has influenced her even today. Kelsey shares, "I've been doing art for almost ten years, and at first, all I knew was how to draw and trace. Now I'm learning collage and painting, and I get to do it in class with my friends."

Kelsey collaborates with her peers on a collage art piece

Vista also offers a performing arts program, A Shared Stage Productions, where members of our community can take part in an inclusive musical production that connects people of all abilities through the arts. Kelsey has appeared in five musicals. She enjoys collaborating with theater professionals. "When I'm on stage, I feel united with everyone...we're all performers performing for the audience," Kelsey says. Connections made during rehearsals and performances leave an impression not only on the hearts of our students and members but also on the entire community.

Engage member Kelsey, performance in the musical show All Shook Up, presented by A Shared Stage Productions 

Vista believes in the value of community and human connection, and how the arts can provide shared experiences that lead to strong and long-lasting relationships.

More to come!