Unified Art for a Beautifully Inclusive World
Tomiwa is a Special Olympics Youth Leader in Nigeria who is excited to launch her Youth Innovation Project: A Unified Arts program to share a message of inclusion in her community. Tomiwa’s project will teach that “people with intellectual disability can and do learn new skills, but learn them differently; with the right support, they can produce beautiful art work that illustrates inclusion and communicates their inner thoughts and feelings.” The project will encourage friendship between Special Olympic athletes and Unified Partners beyond the playing field.
The project will culminate with an art competition and exhibition aimed at “helping society appreciate the beauty of inclusive societies.” The project will have three stages. First, 20 Unified Pairs will be selected to participate in a Day of Art event. This event will be used to select eight pairs to participate in the Unified Arts competition. After selection, the finalists will have the opportunity to work with 2 art teachers over 6 weeks. The final stage will be the exhibition. The pairs will be able to display their work in the final competition. The exhibition will be a celebration of the accomplishments of the Unified Pairs over the past months and will include other fun Unified activities such as dancing!
Tomiwa will help Special Olympics athletes and Unified Partners build skills outside of sport through the Unified Arts program. The project will use art as a tool to build friendships, create support systems, develop talents, and build confidence. The project was inspired during a Unified Basketball tournament in 2017 when a teammate of Tomiwa showed his drawing to her. The drawing prompted Tomiwa to create a project that brings out the “creative potential” of people with ID. Tomiwa is excited to witness the creativity of the art, the bonds between Unified pairs, and the beauty of the Unified Generation!