Fine Art Miracles, Inc. is a nonprofit organization based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Rochester and Buffalo, New York and now Harrisburg and Erie, PA! FAM serves individuals with disabilities through art classes, music therapy and social robotics. . Initially formed as an organization to serve elderly residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities with fine art lessons, in April of 2013 FAM decided to expand its target base to include children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities including individuals on the autism spectrum, the homeless, veterans, economically challenged famlies; basically, anyone experiencing difficulty with the challenges of daily living. This led to FAM growing its mission to use the arts to bring the benefits of emerging technology out of the research world and to the greater public.
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Learn more about our services on our Welcome page!
Founder and director, Tess Almendarez Lojacono received her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. Uniquely qualified to direct the daily operations of the company, Tess’s expertise is in art, business management and working with various special needs groups. Fine Art Miracles began as a DBA in February 2007. Initially conceived as an organization dedicated to serving the elderly in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, Fine Art Miracles incorporated as a nonprofit organization and moved their headquarters to Pittsburgh, PA on January 1, 2013. The organization gained additional teachers, and increased their client base to 80 nursing home and assisted living facilities in Pittsburgh, PA, 65 facilities in Buffalo, NY, 23 facilities in Rochester, NY and 4 facilities in Hilton Head, SC. Musical experiences were added to the menu of services in Buffalo and Pittsburgh in March of 2013 and Fine Art Miracles began offering interactive sing-alongs (of special interest to Memory Care clients) and classical music concerts. Today FAM uses Board Certified Music Therapists and Art Therapists as well as Art and Robotic Teachers, and we serve more than 220 client facilities in the greater Pittsburgh area, a dozen each in Harrisburg and Erie, PA; 78 client facilities in Buffalo and 35 in Rochester, NY; and still 4, in Hilton Head, SC.
In April 2013 Fine Art Miracles extended their target market to include more special needs groups. The services of Art Therapists and Music Therapists were retained for this purpose and many new client facilities scheduled classes, including: The Gatehouse Program and FireFly Camp, both programs of the Spina Bifida Association of Western PA, providing a structured, safe and supportive environment for individuals to successfully make the transition into adult life. Additionally, Mercy Behavioral Health, a private organization serving individuals with various disabilities in community settings throughout Southwestern PA; Verland, Parents in Toto, Community Human Services, and others, have scheduled programming. After completing a pilot program for Carnegie Mellon University using a Romibo robot (in 2013): Art & Social Robot Therapy For Children on the Autism Spectrum, FAM began to offer Social Robot Enhanced Learning for challenged and neuro-typical children. Clients for Social Robot Programming have included Parents In Toto, Schenley Heights Community Development Program, The Neighborhood Academy, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, St. Anthony’s Schools, Allegheny Intermediate Unit’s Pathway Program and their DART Program, serving early learners with challenges. Proving once again, that Robotics, like Art, is for everyone!