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301 20th Street South
Irondale, AL, 35210
United States

205-951-3317

About

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The studio gives me a place where I can be myself
— Mychal, artist since 2012

What We Do

Studio By The Tracks provides free art studio classes for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. We foster a supportive, non-judgmental environment with the aim of cultivating creativity and exploring art with those who are often times marginalized by society. Artists receive 60% of any sale of their art works.

Established in 1989, SBTT has art classes for different populations. Two thirds of our classes serve adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The other third serve emotionally conflicted children living in a group home.

With the prevalence of ASD increasing ten-fold in the past 40 years (https://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism), one response has been to increase behavioral therapies and early intervention in school systems. But what happens when those young adults with ASD age out of the school system? What is in place for them to give them a sense of purpose and validation? Very often, nothing awaits them but endless days watching television.

As a result, SBTT has seen the demand for its services surge in recent years. In response, we’ve doubled the amount of adults with ASD we serve. And the quality of the art has surged too. Always popular with patrons of our yearly fundraisers, the students’ artwork is now drawing interest from the larger art community. Their work has been featured in local galleries, not merely as “special artists,” but simply as artists.

And although no student pays a penny to attend classes at SBTT, they receive 60% of the sale of their artwork. For most of them, it’s the first time they’ve received a paycheck. The feeling of accomplishment is immeasurable. Being financially compensated for work is a crucial part of feeling like a contributing member of society.

But it’s not just about financial validation. For our students, coming to art class means entering a place of community with like-minded individuals. The autistic brain is no deficiency at SBTT. Many of our students’ parents have said that SBTT is the one place outside of their house where they feel truly comfortable. There is no higher praise for us.

Outside of our adult classes, we also have 2 classes of boys in residential treatment. These boys have been removed from their homes by the court system. They have behavioral and emotional problems often caused by abuse and neglect; but when they come to SBTT, they’re just normal kids in art class. Since opening its doors, SBTT has served over 1000 children.

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Who are we?

Ila Faye Miller - Founder
Suzanne Boozer - Executive Director
Catherine Boyd - Director
Katie Thompson - Art Director
Bunny Chew - Art Instructor
Karen Balliet - Art Instructor

Maggie King - Studio Assistant

See below for our invaluable Board Members.

Want to be involved?

Volunteers and interns are essential to our operation. If you're interested in either one, visit our Contact page and fill out our Direct Message form. Include either "Volunteering" or "Interning" in the subject line. Then send us a message with  your specific interests and qualifications.
 

Believe in our mission?

Consider making a one time or recurring tax deductible donation of any amount.


Studio By the Tracks Board Members

 

Board Of Directors

Ben Burford
Dan Bynum
Anne Couch
Cilie Cowin
Bill Fisher
Lee Marks
Ben Miller
Ila Faye Miller
Connie Sherrod
Ashley Spotswood

Hampton Stephens
Laura Vogtle
Paul Ware
Leila Watson
Philip Young

Junior Board

Tay Bailey
Betsie Boggs
Todd Boozer
Alice Fisher
Abigail Hearn
Preston Kelley

Katherine Miller
Frances Ellen Morris
Cody Nall
Carolyn Parker
Emma Reich
Victoria Reid
John Romano
Rebecca Stivender
Stuart Stone
Ginny Willings