Creative self-expression can be a powerful aspect of the human experience and should be an available outlet for all. Appreciating and creating art allows people to feel and connect. Art should be accessible to people with all abilities. That is why Dwayne and Marianne Szot deserve endless recognition and admiration for their work with Zot Artz, dedicated to making art accessible for all.
Dwayne Szot grew up in a mid-western foster home with a foster brother and sister who had cerebral palsy. Other children and adults with disabilities lived in the home, and he observed and respected the challenges they faced. He credits that experience with giving him the motivation to create Zot Artz. Initially, as an artist and engineer, he designed and built machines to apply color to huge surfaces, including building walls, roofs, and even a frozen lake. Having studied how a machine could extend his ability to “make a mark” and remembering his foster siblings, he was inspired to create a mechanical device that would extend a disabled person’s ability to make a mark. He founded Zot Artz to create adaptive art tools and make them available to providers, programs, and other organizations.
Zot Artz – Arts for All began in 1990 with a grant funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Rockefeller Foundation. Since then, Zot Artz has created hundreds of unique art events worldwide and has helped schools, museums, residential and day centers, independent living centers, parks & rec programs by putting the art tools to work in their programs. Zot Artz is a creative outlet for people of all ages, from preschool children to senior adults. Everyone can stamp, draw, and print to make their mark.
“It’s that completeness of being. That’s what Zot Artz is about. It’s about the completeness of experiences.”-Dwayne Szot
Sunrise and Zot Artz started their professional relationship in 2000 when Dwayne presented at a Board retreat. Since then, Dwayne has conducted many trainings at Sunrise day programs. On October 21st, Sunrise had the pleasure of hosting a virtual Lunch and Learn with Zot Artz. There were over 50 attendees on the call ranging from Executive Directors, Directors of Operation, and even Program Coordinators. Attendees learned about Dwayne, his business’s birth and history, and how the various adaptive tools can be used at Sunrise locations.
Dwayne is no stranger to Miami. Along with Sunrise, Dwayne has a long-standing relationship with the Miami Dade Department of Cultural Affairs and Francine Anderson, their Chief of Education, Outreach, and Access. Dwayne has attended many of their events and has been a critical figure in ALL KIDS INCLUDED. Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs will be hosting a workshop on November 12th. Click here to register. They also have a Zot Artz art tool lending program.
When you hear Dwayne present, his passion permeates the room. The joy and dedication he exudes leave no doubt that making art possible for all is his lifelong calling. He inspires others to rethink the possibilities, and he illustrates how inclusive art marking grants everyone the opportunity to express themselves and make their mark.
Visit ZotArtz.com to learn more about their products, events, and more.