Stacey Wonder teaches inclusion through the arts.
She began her dance career in an unusual way. Following a spinal cord injury in 1994, she founded Wonder Wheels, a dance company that blends able body dancers(known as stand up dancers) with dancers using wheelchairs(known as sit down dancers). Wonder Wheels was modeled after the Cleveland Ballet Dancing Wheels. A dance school was developed to teach techniques used for inclusive dance for individuals with disabilities and able body dancers. Wonder Wheels dance troop has performed throughout the Midwest, entertaining its audiences and educating on inclusion. In 1998 Stacey received the Victory Award from Immanuel Rehabilitation for integrating back into the community and creating awareness and opportunities in the arts for other artists with disability.
As Executive director of VSA arts Nebraska, Ms. Wonder used Express Diversity to create disability awareness. While working with VSA arts she was introduced to Arts for All program. This is a unique program uses a roller that is attached to the wheelchair and paints on to paper as the wheel chair rolls around. This rekindled her love for visual arts. Ms. Wonder returned University of Nebraska at Omaha the fall of 2001. While attending classes she taught art at Holy Name Elementary school. She also volunteered for AmeriCorps for two years. Graduating with a Bachelors in Studio Art with a minor in Art history and K-12 endorsement.
Ms. Wonders philosophy is encapsulated in the quote by Erica Jong, “Everyone has talent what is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the unknown place where it leads.”