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Samantha with coach Kenn Sioson
Samantha with coach Kenn Sioson

The Arts and the Children with Special Needs

Paintings By SamanthaFor me, the arts have always been the great equalizer in the society. Age, educational background, economic standing, and even if you have special needs, it really doesn’t matter, as long as you have the talent. It is, therefore, a fitting event for the arts and the children with special needs as the Center for Possibilities Foundation (CFP) stages a back-to-back event on January 28 at the RCBC Plaza in Makati.

At 5:30 in the afternoon, the self-titled exhibit of 19-year-old special artist Samantha Kaspar will open to the public. At 7:00 in the evening, the Manila Symphony Orchestra will take center stage. This will be an event worthy of attending, one that I don’t want to miss, especially upon learning about the artists during a press conference.

Art Auction

Samantha greets everyone at the presscon

Samantha greets everyone at the presscon

The art exhibit entitled “Samantha” will showcase around 40 artworks. Some of these on fabric to be used as fashion accessories and others on canvas for wall hangings. These are creations by Samantha Kaspar whom we met at the presscon.

Some of her artworks were on display, and I can’t help but admire the pieces. The young artist has been drawing since she was a kid, as a way to communicate to her parents and the rest of the people around her.

Martin Kaspar, Samantha’s father, shared, “She has a consistent style with a lot of edges and lines, her artworks can be very linear. She also has this certain way of giving shapes to her images which aren’t necessarily realistic but are more cartoonish.”

Samantha Kaspar with parents Martin and Mitzi

Samantha Kaspar with parents Martin and Mitzi

“Samantha uses a wide variety of media for her work and we wanted to show the gamut of her abilities. She works primarily on piña silk using silk paints. She also uses acrylic paint on canvas sometimes,” explains Samantha’s mother, Mitzi.

On April 7, Samantha will be going to the Philippine Center in New York for the Fashion Arts Autism Benefit (FAAB) where she will be promoting some of the local culture. Her father shared that since the young artist was tapped for the event, she has been using piña silk as her canvass.

Samantha with coach Kenn Sioson

Samantha with coach Kenn Sioson

A peek at Samantha's work in progress

A peek at Samantha’s art in progress

Samantha is a 19-year old artist with autismFAAB seeks to showcase the artistic talents of children with special needs. Samantha, diagnosed with Autism when she was one and a half years old, is one of eight artists chosen to present their paintings on piña silk which will be translated into clothing by featured designers Patis Tesoro and Anthony Legarda for the fashion show.

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We had a peek at how she does painting on the indigenous material during the presscon. Piña silk has been a popular clothing materials. It’s interesting to see how the material transforms into a work of art with Samantha’s talent. Master weaver India Legaspi is credited for teaching the artists the technique of piña silk painting.

Samantha hopes to fund her trip with the proceeds of her auction. This is not her first time to exhibit her paintings. She has been featured in fund raiser event called “Chef’s, Arts, and Hearts.” A dinner preceded an exhibit with FAAB artists, where eight artists presented their works. Samantha was one of them, and her artworks were sold out during the event. A proof that the arts and the children with special needs co-exist.


Manila Symphony Orchestra Now I love classical music as much as I enjoy pop. The Manila Symphony Orchestra’s “Soundtracks and Symphonies” is a fusion of both and it’s quite a delight to hear, much more experience the performances. The concert will be conducted by Prof. Arturo Molina and annotated by Jeffrey Solares. Included in their repertoire is a John Williams tribute as well as pieces from greats such as Beethoven, Mozart, and Bach. Here’s a snippet of one of their performances.

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The concert is for the benefit of Special Education (SPED) Centers that have been the focus of the Center for Possibilities’ recent efforts. To act as a venue for learning of indigent persons with special needs, each SPED Center is operated by a teacher trained in the SPED division of Reach International School.

Center for Possibilities Foundation Founder Dolores F. Cheng

Center for Possibilities Foundation Founder Dolores F. Cheng

The Sagada SPED Center has been up and running and will be enhanced with a series of livelihood and vocational programs that will be teaching skills for income-generating activities. “Caring for special kids is very taxing because it’s usually just a one-income household so we also need to help the parents improve their finances,” explains CFP founder, Dolores Cheng.

The foundation is also working to have a SPED Center in Norzagaray as well. At the moment, what they have right now is just the building itself. A fence, a water tank, and a playground are still needed. “We are also in the process of doing our due diligence by determining the number of special children in all the barangays relevant to Norzagaray. Next will be an orientation for all the parents within the community. We are subsequently planning for the provision of testing, diagnosis, and analysis for the children with special needs,” Cheng adds.

Enrollment in the SPED Centers is free so it helps alleviate the family’s cost of taking care of special children. If you would like to extend assistance, you may reach CFP at http://centerforpossibilities.asia or (02) 723-1242 / (0918) 888-1759. Even better, you can support the arts and the children with special needs by attending the organization’s event. “Samantha” and “Soundtracks and Symphonies” will be on January 28, 2016, 5:30pm at the Carlos P. Auditorium of the RCBC Plaza, Makati.

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