Newsletter – March 2024

Good Grief, What a Performance!

On a recent delightful spring Saturday evening, the stage at Phoenix Center for the Arts was brimming with pride and confidence as the First Place–Phoenix cast of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Revised)” put on a funny, joyous and musically mesmerizing performance for a full house of proud family and friends. Thank you, Arizona Commission on the Arts, ASU’s Design and Arts Corps and First Place’s dedicated support staff for making it all possible. And congratulations to the cast and crew—you made it an unforgettable night for everyone!

Meet Two New and Improved Websites!

We’ve created two separate and distinct websites to better meet the needs of First Place–Phoenix and residents with autism and/or other intellectual/developmental disabilities and their families, as well as to capitalize on the growing impact of the First Place Global Leadership Institute. While the URL should look familiar, the site has been rewritten, reorganized and redesigned. It’s your place for information pertaining to First Place–Phoenix’s beautiful one- and two-bedroom apartments, its beautiful amenities, the trailblazing Transition Academy and our robust community life. The First Place Global Leadership Institute now has a site dedicated to its five centers and the many critical issues they address. It’s also your destination for the annual First Place symposium, Lifelong Networks for Communities of Support (LNCS) sessions, licensing of the Learn4Independence® curriculum and much more!

We invite you to visit these sites to stay informed, connected and engaged with First Place–Phoenix and the First Place Global Leadership Institute.

Denise Resnik Puts Spectrum of a Healthy Democracy on the Horizon

Denise Resnik recently joined host Ted Simons on KAET Channel 8’s Arizona Horizon to talk about how we broaden the spectrum of inclusive communities and a healthy democracy. This includes those impacted who can access a unique URL created with the Secretary of State’s office and accommodations available through the Maricopa County Recorder and Elections Department.

Denise used the PBS platform to highlight Vote the Spectrum™, the statewide nonpartisan movement to register voters. Watch for more efforts to elevate voter registration, education and participation—and join us as champions like the prominent leaders featured in this brief, compelling video. Learn more at

Democracy Dialogues: What It Takes to Form a More Perfect Union

“We the people” is as inclusive as it gets. So when ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Flinn Foundation and Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust recently hosted journalist, author and former U.S. Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel for Democracy Dialogues, the conversation also included the needs of people with autism and/or intellectual/developmental disabilities.

With an audience that included members of Greater Phoenix Leadership, students and various special guests, Mr. Stengel provided an educated point of view and answered a range of smart questions before inviting First Place AZ Founder and President/CEO Denise Resnik to the stage to talk about Vote the Spectrum. This powerful platform put the growing movement in front an enthusiastic crowd—most of whom did not leave without a Vote the Spectrum sticker in hand. It was a victorious day for democracy!

Save the Date: Arizona Gives Day Tuesday, April 2

Please consider supporting First Place AZ, the nonprofit providing a path to independence for adults with autism and/or other intellectual/developmental disabilities (A/I/DD). At First Place–Phoenix, residents are proudly proving that adults with A/I/DD can thrive in a home they call their own. At the First Place Global Leadership Institute, we’re addressing complex issues with data-driven strategies and innovative solutions. Learn more and give today!

Community Life: Residents Are Out and About!

Residents are cooking up another series of Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation “Plant to Palate” videos, so it was time to step back into the Phoenix recording studio at AEMedia with our friend Bob Giammarco. The Sprouts scripts walk viewers through four easy-to-make recipes using various ingredients from our own First Place–Phoenix garden.

The weather was perfect and the time was ripe for a trip to the Uptown Farmers Market, so residents joined the hungry crowd and explored it together—from the colorful fresh fruit stands to the sizzling food trucks.

On a recent visit to Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, residents grabbed some boots and went back in time to the 17th century to learn about Father Kino’s interactions with Arizona’s Native American tribes. Thanks to the always-amazing Wade Weber, the museum’s director of education, residents came back to the present with some colorful and memorable stories.

A Night to Show Our Team Spirit and Community Pride

Root for the home team and our great autism community on Friday, April 12 when you join the fun at the Arizona Diamondbacks Autism Awareness Night game. Tickets for First Place–Phoenix fans are available at a discounted rate—and a portion will be donated to autism programs throughout Arizona. You’ll even receive a clear D-Backs drawstring bag. Get your tickets here.

March Divergent Digest Focuses on Brave Women in History

International Women’s Day on March 8 is the perfect reason to check out First Place’s March issue of the Divergent Digest. This month’s issue is packed with fascinating facts about women in history who have used their creativity, bravery and resolve to make an enduring difference in their efforts to show that women are just as capable as men. There’s also a complete calendar of the many notable and diverse events taking place this busy month.

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