Matheny’s Arts Access Program empowers individuals with disabilities to create art without boundaries. Through the use of innovative systems and techniques, clients can take part in the visual, performing, and literary arts. Regardless of their disability, clients are provided with the tools and materials needed to produce complete pieces of work.

On a daily basis, Arts Access fosters an environment of artistic creativity among the participating clients. The program improves the quality of life for the clients and those around them. In addition, Arts Access programming aids in changing the perception about the capabilities and talents of people with developmental disabilities.

Our program is based on four governing principles: Freedom of Choice, Artists Assisting Artists, Neutrality, and No Preconceptions. Each of these principles is carefully adhered to by our facilitators to ensure that the artist’s work is pure and created without influence.

While freedom of choice is often limited in other areas of their lives, it is encouraged at Arts Access. Clients choose everything from the paint color and brush stroke, to dance movement and theatrical staging, to each written word. Our program makes this possible by bringing clients together with professional artist facilitators. The facilitators are working professionals in their area of expertise who have been trained to be the arms and legs of the disabled clients. They consciously maintain a sense of neutrality throughout the creative process, which demands a constant trust and respect between the two artists. The facilitator must never have preconceptions or assume what the  artist can or cannot do. The facilitator role provides a process for the artists to create works that are purely their own and utilize fine art as a means of self-expression.

Arts Access uses carefully designed and clearly-defined charts and menu systems to help establish all aspects of communication between the facilitator and the client.

Learn More About Matheny Arts Access

Mission & Vision

The mission of Arts Access is to provide individuals with disabilities the freedom to create in the visual, literary, and performing arts...

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ADA Compliance

Arts Access is dedicated to serving people with disabilities. We are committed to providing an inclusive setting for all who work in and visit the Robert Schonhorn Arts Center...

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Life-size pieces of art, cutting-edge choreography, dramatic works, and imaginative writings have all been created by individuals with disabilities at Arts Access...


“The client is the driving force of this work, [facilitators] are just technical ability. We’re hands and feet and know-how”...


The arts access staff is made up of caring and dedicated artists. Each individual brings their skillset to the program solely for the purpose of enabling the Arts Access participants to release their creative expression and shine in the artistic spotlight.

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Address: 65 Highland Avenue
PO Box 339
Peapack, NJ 07977
Phone: 908-234-0011

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