Phoebe Murer ’06, a graduate of Arcadia’s Psychology/Pre-Art Therapy program, received the third place International Naturally Autistic People (INAP) Award in Community Achievement at the 2016 ANCA World Autism Festival, held in Vancouver from Sept. 30 to Oct. 5.
As an ANCA World Ambassador, Murer represents the organization’s commitment to reducing misconceptions surrounding autism and celebrating talented individuals within this community. In addition to receiving the 2015 ANCA Network for Community Achievement award and the 2012 INAP award for Visual Arts, Murer was featured in the organization’s 2016 documentary, Connected: A Film about Autistic People.
“ANCA has been a life-changing experience,” said Murer. “Everyone is connected, open, and accepting. Before I got involved with ANCA, I was just learning to cook and master other life skills. After I won the 2012 INAP prize for Visual Arts, my confidence grew bit by bit. Now, I participate in several art co-ops, show my artwork regularly, and give art lessons to various people.”
In 2014, Murer’s work with ANCA prompted her to apply for a creative writing residency in Italy through Arcadia’s Global Field Study program. Murer has since been accepted into Arcadia’s M.F.A. in Creative Writing program, self-published four books, and worked with student writers on the autism spectrum.