New City Council Chamber Art Exhibit: Sweetwater Spectrum

Posted on February 7, 2024

A grid of 9 black and white portraits with accompanying information about an art exhibition.
A photo of Sonoma City Council Chambers from the perspective of the Dias, looking out onto a display of artwork on the walls.
The installation in Sonoma City Council Chambers from the perspective of the Dias.

The City of Sonoma Cultural & Fine Arts Commission is delighted to announce the latest installment of the Sonoma City Council Chambers Rotating Art Program, featuring an exhibit from Sweetwater Spectrum.

This exhibition showcases a collection of artworks created by residents of Sweetwater Spectrum, an organization founded in 2013 with the mission to provide adults with autism or similar intellectual/developmental disabilities with innovative, community-based, long-term housing that offers individual choice and challenges each resident to reach their highest potential. Within this mission, Sweetwater Spectrum offers over 60 monthly enrichment programs on and off-site, focusing on art, music, movement, sensory, and social activities.

The exhibit is on display in City Council Chambers, located at 177 First Street West in Sonoma through March 31, 2024, and can be viewed during public meetings and at an upcoming Artist Reception, date to be announced.

About Sweetwater Spectrum

Sweetwater Spectrum was based on the dreams of parents who wanted to ensure long-term independent living for their autistic children and provide the same opportunity to other adults with developmental disabilities. They opened their doors in 2013 and have since become the forever home to 20 adults with disabilities. They also offer discounts for low-income residents and actively engage in the community; the organization and its residents support many other local nonprofits.

Recent numbers show that 1 in every 36 children in the US is diagnosed with autism, and each year, thousands of children age out of the school system. Adults with special needs often struggle to find resources, work, financial stability, services, support, meaningful activities, belonging, friendships, connections, and a community. There is a tremendous housing shortage for adults with autism, and individuals can wait well over a decade to find placement. Sweetwater Spectrum provides replication consulting services for people interested in developing housing for adults with developmental disabilities and invites others to join the conversation to address the housing crisis for our population, a worldwide public health crisis. Their replication efforts have helped eight other sites across the US create residential communities that serve hundreds of individuals and built stable employment for even more people.

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