Creativity Explored

Creativity Explored gives artists with developmental disabilities the means to create and share their work with the community, celebrating the power of art to change lives. They provide studio artists the opportunity to earn income from the sale of their artwork and to pursue a livelihood as a visual artist to the fullest extent possible.

Courtesy Creativity Explored

Courtesy Creativity Explored

CultureBank Questions

Where – in what community – do you primarily do your work?

Creativity Explored is a nonprofit art studio working with artists with developmental disabilities. Our community lies at the intersection of art and disability – focusing more on the attributes and talents of people with disabilities and the ways in which they contribute to the contemporary art world.

What gets you going each day and inspires your current work?

Creativity Explored gives artists with developmental disabilities the means to create and share their work with the community, celebrating the power of art to change lives.

We operate on the principle that all people have the ability to create and that visual artistic expression is a means to self-growth.

Courtesy Creativity Explored

Courtesy Creativity Explored

When you work in your community, what are the most valuable assets of the community that you experience aside from real estate and money?

For many people, their main contact with people with disabilities is through service and support roles. At Creativity Explored, our artists are not in the background – they are thrust to the foreground by their presence as working artists in our studios, and the vitality of the works on display in our gallery. We help broaden the public's perceptions giving people opportunities to see people with disabilities as creative artists and contribute to a long-term change in the way they view and treat this marginalized community. 

We create partnerships with acclaimed curators and world-renowned artists, and the heartwarming results often allows our artists a seat at the table empowering them to provide insight into their practice and contributions.

Courtesy Creativity Explored

Courtesy Creativity Explored

How does your artistic practice inform and/or is integrated into your enterprise?

Creativity Explored's person-centered approach emphasizes the abilities of our artists and asks them to define what is or is not important to them as individuals. Through our approach, our instructors establish goals with our artists which influences their art practice and the CE program(s) in which our artists participate. This way of thinking also informs our Exhibitions Coordinator as she curates shows and partners with galleries and museums.

The choices we provide empower our artists to participate in programs most relevant and important to them. Our artists are able to choose from a menu of services including a Paid Internship Program, public workshops, and inclusion studios.

What is the impact of your work on your community? Today? Over a long period of time?

Since our inception, Creativity Explored has launched careers for more than 400 artists with developmental disabilities. To date, CE artists have earned almost $2 million from their artwork. In addition to being included in numerous museums and private collections, CE studio artists' work has been exhibited in museums and galleries in 14 countries. 

Our vision is a society that embraces artists with developmental disabilities and is enlivened by their creative contributions.

The Nitty Gritty

When was your organization or project founded?


What is your staffing situation like?

Creativity Explored has over 40 people on staff supporting over 130 artists with developmental disabilities.

What is your annual budget?


How does your revenue break down?

Government Contracts: 52%

Contributed Revenue: 36%

Earned Revenue: 10%

Misc.: 2%

Find out more about Creativity Explored!

Bay AreaEmily Reynolds