In 1985, Marcia Berger, an innovative pediatric physical therapist, founded Third St. Kids, an after-school program in the performing arts for children with and without disabilities. Arts for All, a non-profit corporation, began in 1979 by Steven L. Sles, a visual artist who painted by mouth. In 1986, the non-profit corporation was turned over to Marcia Berger by its founder; and thus, Arts for All and Third St. Kids became one. The organization grew quickly from several children in Marcia's living room to a nationally recognized nonprofit with a unique mission: to provide accessible education, training and experience in the arts for children, particularly those with special needs. Ms. Berger is now the Executive Director of Arts for All.
Marcia Berger graduated from Boston- Bouvé College of Northeastern University and completed post-graduate courses in drama, music, mixed ability dance and movement, contact improvisation, choreography, wheelchair design and seating, and non-profit management. Ms. Berger is licensed by the Arizona State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners and holds a certificate in audio description. She is also fluent in Spanish and American Sign Language. She began physical therapy departments at the Florida Schools for the Deaf and the Blind and the Arizona Schools for the Deaf and the Blind. Ms. Berger has performed and produced in various productions including wheelchair dance, modern dance, contact improvisation, sign language dance, and acting.
Marcia Berger has received the Spirit of Arizona Award (1988) from the Arizona State Senate, District Service to Mankind Award (1989) from Sertoma International, the Jefferson Award from the American Institute for Public Service (1990), recognition from the Mayor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities (1991), the JC Penny Golden Rule Award (1992), the Diane Lynne Anderson Award (1998), recognition from Arizona Center for Disability Law (2000), YWCA’s Women on the Move Award (2000) and Community Foundation for Southern Arizona’s Civic Leadership Award (2019). Under her leadership Arts for All has also received numerous awards and recognition. Most recently Arts for All received the 2019 Governor’s Arts in Education Award and Marcia received the 2019 Community Foundation for Southern Arizona’s Civic Leadership Award.
Thank you, Marcia, for what you do for kids in the community! Learn more about Arts for All and its programs.