The Shield / PVA Relationship

The Shield Institute is a longstanding non-sectarian, publicly-supported educational and human service agency providing wide-ranging services to children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.

The Shield’s mission remains focused on meeting the needs of a significantly underserved population of New Yorkers, including a growing number of families impacted by autism. In collaboration with public and private agencies, foundations, families, and communities, The Shield works creatively and with a sense of urgency to help the men, women, and children we serve to learn, grow and lead meaningful lives as full members of their communities. We serve nearly 2,500 people via five locations in The Bronx, Manhattan and Queens and with a staff of over 400 employees, offering a wide range of excellent programs.  For more information about The Shield Institute, visit our website at

The idea to create a studio to serve artists with severe developmental disabilities grew organically within The Shield Institute, which partners with families and communities to create greater social, educational, economic and cultural opportunities for children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. Pure Vision Arts was built in 2002 with support from New York State and a handful of individual donors and has grown rapidly, garnering mainstream media attention. It provides beginning, emerging and established artists access to an expert staff, dedicated volunteers and quality materials in a well-equipped, fully accessible professional arts studio.