Academy of Special Dreams


The Academy of Special Dreams Foundation strives to build a society in which all persons, regardless of their disabilities, will have full and equal opportunities to express their talents and to be successful in the Arts.

The Special Academy’s mission is to increase public awareness, appreciation and recognition of the creative talents of people with disabilities by providing opportunities that encourage, promote and showcase their artistic expressions. Weachieve our mission in three principal ways: (i) organizing and administering open-call competitions to encourage those in the special needs community to express themselves through various media of Art; (ii) arranging for scholarships, cash awards and other financial support for artists with disabilities to promote their further participation in the Arts; and (iii) hosting web-based virtual galleries of Art and producing exhibitions and videos to showcase the artistic expressions of artists with disabilities.

The Special Academy’s website,, showcases the artistic talents of more than 75 “artists in residence” where we continue to increase our online collection of paintings, short film, photographs, creative writing, and other works of art by artists with disabilities that we feature on our website. This year we completely revamped our website so that it is much more user friendly with easier navigation and shorter periods of time loading pages and includes a virtual three dimensional (“3D”) art exhibition gallery to enhance appreciation of the art. Each month the virtual art galleries featured on our website are seen by thousands of unique visitors and help make dreams come true for many of our artists. With the ever changing technology, we continually invest in our website so that the creative talents of our artists in residence will be available for the entire world to appreciate.

The Special Academy also arranges for the financial support of artists with disabilities to further their participation and progress in the Arts. We provide scholarships and cash awards annually to artists with disabilities though our web-based opportunities for those in the special needs community to express themselves in competitive short film, creative writing and visual arts projects. We award college scholarships to traditional college-aged students with disabilities pursuing their studies in the Arts, in addition we seek to endow a Working Artists Fund which would focus on adult artists with disabilities needing financial assistance for specific work projects.

For questions or additional opportunities, please contact us as follows:

Michael Dergar

President & CEO

Jerry J. Ruiz

Director of Administration

(323) 253-7380

Patsy Herrera Loya

Director of Development

Academy of Special Dreams Foundation

115 W. California Blvd. Suite 326

Pasadena, California 91105

The Academy of Special Dreams Foundation is a tax-exempt IRC 501(c)(3) charitable organization and all contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. You can follow the work of the Academy of Special Dreams Foundation by subscribing at, by becoming a fan on Facebook at or by staying in touch with us on Twitter at