Colors & Cords, the annual fundraiser for Islands of Brilliance, will take place in 2017 on November 10, and include band performances by Collections of Colonies of Bees, Rose of the West, and Twin Brother.

This year marks the third annual Colors & Cords Fundraiser. The one-of-a kind event celebrates music and art by pairing bands with prominent local artists live onstage for a 30-minute set. Held in the historic Turner Hall Ballroom, the event merges musical craftsmanship with an individual artist’s interpretation of the music.

All proceeds from the musical and artistic extravaganza benefits Islands of Brilliance, a learning experience developed specifically for children and young adults on the autism spectrum, founded in Milwaukee.

Funds raised will be used to build the first Early Intervention Employment Model in the country for students on the autism spectrum. This includes a dedicated facility to run workshops, offer a membership model to our community, create employment opportunities for a wide range of skills and abilities, and launch a Digital Academy focused on design, visual production, coding, and web development.

Islands of Brilliance utilizes project-based learning which allows our students to grow their intrinsic capabilities and practice communication, increasing their likelihood of independence as adults. IOB design workshops create a space for students to explore creativity through the use of technology, during which they learn technical skills and grow confidence in critical social and peer-to-peer interactions.

Students are matched one-to-one with mentors—design field professionals—which not only changes public perception of this disability, it also paves the way for future higher education and employment opportunities. An experienced, licensed special education teacher, with paraprofessional support, oversees all workshops.

During a typical design workshop, the Islands of Brilliance “creative teams” work on a project—from initial sketches through building it using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator—that results in a colorful 18″ x 24″ poster each student takes home.

In addition to completing the class with an expanded knowledge of software design tools, our students leave with intangibles that are far broader and more important—a collaborative experience, sharing and presentation opportunities, conversation, friendship, and most of all a sense of accomplishment.

© Photo

Islands of Brilliance and VDC Photo