The Flame Concludes Arts Celebration – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

The Flame Concludes Arts Celebration

On Friday, April 27, the Arts Festival will conclude their celebration with a bang, when the band FLAME, performs during the Arts Gala Finale: A Celebration of Local Artists. The event will begin at 5 p.m. on the Scandling Center Patio and Café.

Inspiring people and changing perceptions about people with disabilities, FLAME is a nationally touring  band from upstate New York made up of 10 people with developmental and physical disabilities, including autism, Down syndrome, and blindness. Capturing the world’s attention, the group has been featured in People magazine and ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“In addition to the prominence of FLAME in the line-up, we are having tons of artwork displayed that was produced in the workshops,” explains says Assistant Professor of Education Mary Kelly, who is one of the organizers of the event. “The artwork is stellar. We have really wonderful work that came out of the workshops, including found art sculptures, recycled books, paper mosaics, sun-prints, mannequin decoupage, collaborative posters, videos…the whole gamut!”  

In addition to pieces compiled from the Art Experience workshops, the art exhibit will also feature pieces from various ARC artists from throughout the Finger Lakes region. Organizing the submissions is Visual Arts Coordinator of Monroe Community Arts Connection Jessica Ophardt. Development Director of ARC of Steuben Ethel Strickarz will act as the master of ceremonies during the course of the evening.

“As a collaboration between Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the ARC chapters of the Finger Lakes, the Arts Experience has a significant impact on many lives,” says Strickarz. “This year I will act as the MC at the gala, and although my time at the mic will be very brief, I will help keep the focus on the exciting performances and art displays.  My hope is that everyone there will make a new discovery during the evening that will increase their appreciation of the diversity of our world.”

The festival is an opportunity for participants, including people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, the Colleges’ community, and the general public to explore various means of expression through the arts.

Free, open to the public, and accessible, the event will provide light refreshments.  Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to attend and enjoy the event. 

“We encourage students and the rest of the HWS community to feel free to just drop through for a short while or stay a long time, and enjoy an amazing array of art, music and meeting new people and old friends,” says Kelly. “We especially encourage students and families to come through after Moving Up Day as a great celebratory cap on a momentous day.”  

For a full schedule of events including complete event descriptions, visit