Posted May 13, 2022
| 5:35 p.m.
Grace Fisher and Kyle’s Kitchen are joining forces to promote inclusivity for people of all abilities. (Courtesy picture)
Through July, customers who dine at any Kyle’s Kitchen restaurant will help the restaurant raise funds and awareness for the Grace Fisher Foundation (GFF), whose mission is to connect children with disabilities to music, art, dance and other forms of artistic expression. and providing an accessible space for community inclusion, education, creation and self-discovery.
“I am thrilled to partner with Kyle’s Kitchen,” said Grace Fisher. “Together, our voices can promote awareness, compassion and inclusivity for people of all abilities.”
The community can support the Grace Fisher Foundation by clicking here to donate.
In 2014, during Fisher’s senior year of high school, a spinal virus left her paralyzed from the neck down. She was diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis and was sent to Craig Rehabilitation Hospital in Denver, Colorado, where she was introduced to music therapy and adaptive art. It not only helped strengthen his neck, but also healed his mind and soul.
Nearly eight months after returning home, Fisher was approached by the Make A Wish Foundation in Santa Barbara. Fisher’s wish before he turned 18 was to help other disabled children through art and music. This began his legacy to pay him and pave the way through the arts to bring joy, therapeutic movement and creativity to people with physical and cognitive disabilities.
“Grace is such an inspiration to us. Her passion for everything she does is infectious and her incredible work in this community has already had a profound impact on the special needs community,” said Deena Ferro, who along with her husband Jay owns Kyle’s Kitchen.
“His positive attitude is a shining example for all of us and, more importantly, brings such an important awareness of what can be achieved for people with special needs. We are so honored to be able to partner with Grace and support the good work she is doing in this community,” Ferro said.
The arts are not only a vital means of self-expression, they help people cope with everyday difficulties. Since its inception in 2016, the Grace Foundation has strived to spread art, music and dance appropriate to the community of people with special needs.
Through local arts events, the GFF has helped families with special needs in Santa Barbara enjoy the gift of creativity. Events include projects such as collaborative murals, sculptures and adaptive dance.
Park Pals, one of the organization’s flagship programs, kicks off in May. This neuro-diverse group is for kids ages 5 and up who want to make friends, create art, move their bodies and sharpen their social skills, all in a natural setting. Park Pals is a free community program taking place from 2-3 p.m. May 15-22 in Tuckers Grove. Click here to register.
Dance to Your Dreams is another inclusive experience of creative movement and new friends, for kids of all ages and abilities. It is also a free community program held at the Westside Dance in Santa Barbara at 11 a.m. every Saturday. Click here to register.
Kyle’s Kitchen will also be selling a limited-edition run of Grace Fisher prints at its Hollister Avenue store in Goleta, with all proceeds going to its foundation.
As part of its core mission to build a business that supports people with special needs, Kyle’s Gives Back has donated over $200,000 to date to community organizations. Customers can dine at any of three Kyle’s Kitchen locations on Chapala Street, Calle Real and Hollister Avenue, as well as at Kyle’s Chicken House, in support of this cause.
To learn more about the Grace Fisher Foundation, visit gracefisherfoundation.org. Learn more about Kyle’s kitchen at kyleskitchen.com.