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autism / autism

Fabulous Autism Awareness Art Night in Miami

What a spectacular event in the Miami Downtown Arts District at McCormick Place, Autism Awareness Art Night was held on March 6, 2015 from 6-10pm in the heart of Downtown Miami. The event was hosted in collaboration with the University of Miami Center for Autism and Related Disabilities – (UM-NSU CARD), which is an organization that provides support and assistance with the goal of optimizing the potential of people with autism and related disabilities.



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It was an awesome night of art, entertainment and festivities. Thank you to McCormick Place for such a successful event, also a very big thank you to Miami Art Scene™ for the strong media coverage and support! I attached some snippets from social media posts about the event –> “A recap of our March ‪#‎autismawareness‬ art night event here at‪#‎McCormickPlaceMiami‬!! Thank you to all participants! Maridith Imbasala @photographybypaloma Mariana Bara @madchillerworld @azucaricecream @ronbarcelo_rd, the UM Center for Autism and Related Disabilities and of course, @vitobonannoart!!” via McCormick Place on Instagram @mccormickplacemiami


University of Miami UM NSU Card

‘What is AUTISM YOU + I? Autism You + I represents the image we at CARD have embraced as an organization since our inception in 1993.  Our mission is all about “You + I” and what we as families, friends and community partners can accomplish together to make our community a better, more inclusive place for people affected by autism and related disabilities. Together, You + I are making a difference every day in the lives of so many.’


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Excellent coverage as always from Miami Art Scene, love it! –> “Rising art star Vito Bonanno‘s works on exhibit at McCormick Place, Downtown Miami in the heart of the Arts District – join us for ‘Autism Awareness Art Night’ on March 6, 2015 from 6-11pm at 111 SW 3rd Street, Miami FL 33130 –> Bonanno brings his mix of hyper-focused Autism inspired work, which blends street art, pop culture and dreams from his unfiltered world to Miami. His art contains the essence of his life, feelings, thoughts and dreams, coupled around objects or topics that “get stuck in his head”, including traffic lights, grids, ceiling fans, graffiti and pop culture – visit: www.vitobonanno.com



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The evening was wonderful and I’m so proud to have been honored at this Autism Awareness Art Night. I donated a piece to charity and all proceeds from the event benefit the UM NSU CARD – Center for Autism and Related Disabilities.


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Luis Birthday!

Luis just celebrated his 114th birthday on January first!

Lets all take this opportunity to wish Luis a very happy 114th Birthday, and look forward to another fun year!

Happy Birthday Luis!!!CD-Triple_LuistheRat_withType

Luis The Rat:  The Beginning

Luis The Rat: The Beginning

Luis the Rat was born on 01/01/1900. I met him the day after my 26th birthday while I was shopping in a strange offbeat novelty store in Middletown, CT on 05/15/2007. He’d been living there since 05/15/1968 and was ready for a change. I liked him right away and wanted to take him home. I always carry a small messenger bag with me filled with lots of things I can’t bear to be without. These things change from day 2 day, but because of my OCD tendencies, the bag is always full. Luis the Rat squeezed his way into the front zipper pouch. Right away he liked how cozy it was in there and was very happy to be going on a road trip. And so I took him home.

One day I was doing my usual worrying/fretting about paying my bills. You see, I have autism and even though I am very independent, I still need some help doing some things and 1 of those is paying my bills. I have to wait for my support counselor to come and do that with me. Sometimes the bills come in and I have to wait days before my counselor is coming and so while I wait for that day to come, I worry, worry and worry some more. Waiting to pay a bill makes me freak out because I am always afraid that the electric, phone, gas or cable company is going to disconnect me because I don’t pay the bill on time. The bills give me a headache and heartburn!

Then I remembered that street rats can give the plague. It gave me the idea that maybe Luis the Rat, 110 yrs, could help me with my bill anxiety! So I asked Luis if he could sit on the top of the electric bill that had come in that day. Luis said, “Don’t worry, I’m gonna give ’em the plague if they shut off your electricity!” So Luis the Rat sat on the bill until I could pay it and I did not worry or have a headache or heartburn because I knew Luis the Rat was protecting me with the POWER OF THE PLAGUE (POTP).

Luis the Rat was very happy to help me and so I began to take Luis with me everywhere for his plague protection. He loves to travel in the zipper pouch of my messenger bag and anytime something happens or someone comes around and does something to make me worried or anxious, Luis the Rat sticks his head out of the pouch and protects me with plague power. At home he sits by the t.v. and plague protects me from reality and news shows that bother me. He sits on the newspapers to help plague protect me from all the negative news and coupons that I don’t like and make me anxious.

Nowadays I don’t leave home without him and when I am at home he is always close by, busy deciding where to use his POTP. Its been over 6 years we have been together, and Luis is happier than ever. He has lots to say and always has lots of plaguing work to do. Stay tuned to this blog for more on Luis the Rat and his point of view-coming soon.