CELEBRATION OF JOY INC. (NPO, est. 2014) "empowering people through the arts" --Charles Joseph Smith co-founder of Celebration of Joy The focus will mainly be in the performing arts of music and dance, and in some cases, visual arts as well.
Celebration of Joy Incorporated, founded in February 2014, is a not-for-profit (NFP) organization that focuses on helping people who have Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to enrich their lives.
Lynn West and Charles Joseph Smith met each other at an autism fundraiser, called The Love Shine Festival (which was curated by its founder, Martha Kruppa, with the help of her husband, Jeff Kruppa) at the Multikulti venue in Chicago, IL, on September 29, 2012. Lynn sang opera and blues in a sort of creative improvisation style while Charles performed the keyboard during the event, and it seem that their spontaneous performance clicked for each other.
Several years after the Love Shine Festival happening, Lynn had an idea to create an organization that will celebrate Charles's triumphs and accomplishments over what psychologists call a developmental disorder with still no cure, which eventually became Celebration of Joy, Inc., in 2014.
From all this, our inspiration for the founding of this organization came from Charles Smith's own experiences with autism, which was a very unique story.
At age 2, Charles stopped talking. At age 7, when he started piano lessons, Charles stepped in after his older brother's piano lesson (Stanley, who is now deceased) and played a piano piece perfectly. Then, he played his piano lesson book (which turned out to be one of the John Thompson method books) nearly flawlessly, becoming something like what is now happening to the latest modern Mozart, Emily Bear, who is now the newest pianistic and compositional superstar.
Quite amazingly, Emily Bear and Charles Smith were both taught under famous piano teacher and pianist, Emilio del Rosario, a teacher who brought talented pianists into his studio and immediately made them into stars. (Regrettably, Emilio recently passed away after a very serious illness.)
Additional inspirations was Charles Smith watching the movies "Rainman" and reading the book "Emergence: Labeled Autistic" by Temple Grandin. We are currently in the beginning stages of applying for 501(c)3 status. The main people behind this organization are: