The Magic Paintbrush Project

The Magic Paintbrush Project is a unique creative arts program for individuals with special needs, their caregivers, family and friends. Using unique art materials and techniques, workshops are creatively tailored to meet the special needs of each family or group. No art experience is necessary for ANY workshop!


Upcoming Workshops:

Family Group Painting Workshop: Saturdays, Feb. 4 , March 11 and April 1

10-11 a.m.

Join us for a messy painting workshop where each family will get to create a canvas painting
in a unique way

Any family with a child with special needs is welcome to join us and work alongside other families creating art and having fun. Click here for more information.

Our Programs

Our workshops encourage:
  • An inviting experience for the whole family or group
  • Fun and interactive socialization with peers and siblings
  • A unique focus on ABILITY
  • A place that fosters self confidence and creativity

Family Workshops

Workshops are conducted in the Pieters Family Life Center art studio for individual families addressing their specific goals and needs. Each session is tailored to meet the needs of the individual family, and may include a variety of material and activities.

“On the Move!”

Providing workshops to schools, agencies, summer camps, after school programs and the special needs community on the road, and in their neighborhoods. These workshops focus on classroom and agency needs, staff inclusion, and community building.

Group Workshops

Meeting monthly, there are multiple active groups of various ages. These groups support individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families in a creative peer environment. Led by a trained facilitator, these groups engage the creativity of the family while support social skill development.

Learn more or schedule a workshop

Call (585) 487-3500 or email

Painting a Picture of Togetherness

In the Davies family, 5-year old Laura and 4-year old Sammy aren’t often on the same page. “Laura is so much more advanced” said Theresa Davies, their mom. “And with Sammy’s autism, he plays by himself more than with Laura.”

Thanks to a program called the Magic Paintbrush Project at the Pieters Family Life Center, the whole family enjoyed squirting their feet with paint and adding color after color to a floor-sized tarp. “A lot of times my daughter feels left out,” Davies said. They often spend time at classes that serve Sammy so, “it was really nice to do something like this as a family.”

The Magic Paintbrush Project began in Binghamton with a family trying to find art activities that everyone could enjoy regardless of abilities. Since then, the project has grown to serve more than 14,000 people, many of whom have disabilities. In a typical workshop, participants might roll a paint-covered ball over paper or user their hands and feet to draw- all while practicing new skills and enjoying time with family members and friends.

“When a daughter is squirting glitter paint at her mom as they both giggle, you would never know that the daughter is working toward a goal of increasing her range of motion,” said Sara Corona, an art therapist at the Life Center who is a trained to facilitate Magic Paintbrush sessions. “Both feel a sense of pride at the finished canvas painting they both created as they ‘played’ in the paint.”

Plus, Corona added, participants take away a sense of family cohesion. They feel like they’ve succeeded at reaching their goals. And they laugh a lot.

For more information about the Magic Paintbrush Project at the Pieters Family Life Center, contact Sara at


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T: 585.487.3500 |
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