Marilyn Abel and Judith Goldner
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Marilyn and Judy

Marilyn Abel and Judith Goldner, Co-Founders

In 1981, SNAP was launched with the proceeds from a vocal recital by Marilyn Abel, a singer and a special needs teacher at Lexington High School. As a special needs teacher, Marilyn believed that her students could be successfully integrated into the school chorus and art classes. She found that the arts were an important and effective means for integrating people with disabilities into the community.

In 1982, Marilyn Abel invited her friend, Judith Goldner, also a musician and teacher, to join her in forming an integrated chorus for teenagers. There was a need for this kind of program as there were no recreational programs in the arts for people with disabilities being offered in Lexington or surrounding communities. 

Almost 40 years later, Marilyn and Judy’s dream continues today. SMAP programs include two sing along choruses, a visual  arts program called Special Artists and a ceramics and crafts program. Currently, SNAP serves over 110 individuals with special needs from 33 cities and towns. Their legacy is one of friendship, inclusion, and celebrating the talents and achievements of people with special needs and the contributions they make to the cultural richness  of our community.