History of the Studio
picture of studio building Rising Star Studios was founded by a group of parents in 2005, who wanted to create an inviting social community center for their autistic sons and daughters. The focus was originally on arts and group physical activities, and the studio space was specially designed for the autistic youth population. As the studio and center evolved, the activities expanded to community dances, theme parties, overnight outings, peer therapy groups, and parent support groups.In 2007, the Board approved expanding our services to all youth and adults with developmental challenges. Rising Star Studios joined with New Perceptions, a non-profit organization that serves over 700 children and adults with developmental disabilities in Northern Kentucky, in July 2010.

Over the years, the studio has served over 100 member families in a variety of ways. It has offered classes in the visual arts, ballet, karate, square dancing, line dancing, music therapy, drama, puppeteering, karaoke, pottery, clay, computers, vocational skills, cooking, laundry, and special learning camps. Each semester, new ideas for classes, activities and social events are considered.

Speakers Bureau
We would be happy to come to your organization to speak about Autism Spectrum Disorders and our services and programs at Rising Star Studios. Contact the Program Coordinator for further information at (859) 344-9322, ext. 15 or email.

About ASD & Aspergers
Autism statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify around 1 in 88 American children as on the autism spectrum. In 2008-2009, 3,143 children ages 3-21 have been reported by the State of Kentucky as having autism, a three-fold increase over the count from 10 years prior. Rising Star Studios makes an incredible difference in the lives of children with autism and other special needs in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area. Although there are many centers that offer rehabilitative services such as occupational, speech, and behavioral therapy, our program is unique in the programs we offer for children with autism and other special needs.

Art, music, and dance are more than a valuable leisure skill through which children with autism and special needs can learn to express themselves. The overall quality of their lives is improved as they learn to function more independently. In our programs, students learn and improve upon social skills, academics, communication skills, motor skills, and activities of daily living. The skills our students learn through the fine arts stay with them for a lifetime.



Jane Bresser

Peg Kendall

Paul Meisenhelder

Sally Soderlund

Cezarina Trone

Liz Wu

Melodic Connections

Agency Staff

Brenda Zechmeister,
Program Coordinator
Brenda has over 20 years of non-profit/arts administration experience. She has a MA in Arts Administration and a BFA in Broadcasting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Over the years, Brenda has worked for many of the area’s arts organizations, including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Fine Arts Fund, and Peaslee Neighborhood Center in Over-the-Rhine. She has been the Program Coordinator at Rising Star since Fall 2009. Recently, she completed a yoga teacher training course at World Peace Yoga.

“Rising Star has been such a life-changing place.  This is the only place my son feels at home.”  ~ parent


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