past Events


Friendships & dating for individuals with autism workshop

Date & Time January 26, 2019, 11am-2pm

Instructor Arman Khodaei, Empower Autism Now

Location Vanessa's Cafe, 695 E. Green St., Pasadena, 91101 (located across from El Portal Restaurant)

In this interactive workshop, participants will learn and practice skills for meeting and developing new friendships, and/or romantic interests.

Meet the Instructor:

Arman Khodaei is an individual on the autism spectrum and is the Founder and Director of Empower Autism Now, a socialization program for autistic adults based in Claremont, CA. Empower Autism Now recently celebrated its tenth anniversary. Arman was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to serve on the State Council of Developmental Disabilities, Area Board 12. Arman participated and provided consultation in the production of the documentary, Autism in Love.


Date February 23, 2019, 12pm-1:45pm

Instructor GuiDance

Location Movement Lifestyle, 11105 Weddington St, North Hollywood, CA 91601

Participants will learn solo and group dance techniques.

Meet the Instructor:

GuiDANCE Autism is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization developed to expose children and young adults with autism and other special needs to the arts and creative expression normally only available to their typically-able peers.

GuiDANCE Autism serves students of all levels in an environment of compassion that leads to transformation. The GuiDANCE Autism team of practitioners uses the medium of dance, along with respite techniques and rhythmic music, to enable them to break through their shells and connect to their surrounding world.


Date (updated) April 7, 2019, 11am-1pm

Instructors Juniper Garza, Julie Ouellet, Irena Segarich, Amelia Sellers, Drew Tolson

Location Sunday Morning, 3350 N Eastern Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90032

Participants will team up with grooming and fashion industry experts to create a party look.

Meet the SPARK Style Team:

Juniper Garza is the owner of Beauty Alchemy Cabin, a Private Spa Sanctuary located in the heart of Silverlake. Juniper specializes in skincare and energy work, with the belief that deep relaxation is a form of beauty ritual. Juniper works not only on the physical aspects of a person, but on the mental, emotional, and spiritual as well.

Julie Ouellet is a wardrobe stylist and owner of Charlie Roquette, a vintage clothing boutique in Highland Park, Los Angeles.

Irena Segarich Makeup, fashion, travel. These are the watch-words that have fueled my dreams. With every new place I’ve been fortunate enough to experience, have come new patterns to color my life. Be it Morocco, Mexico, Guatemala, or Croatia. As a makeup artist, my career spanned from TeenBeat Magazine to LA Fashion week. More recently, I have been fortunate to follow my passion for aesthetic, particularly in clothing, with my husband Jon. We created Bunny and Wolf as a means to express our love of design with the world. This has allowed a new venue to share a creative vision with those who attend curated vintage shows such as- Pickwick Vintage, A Current Affair, and DesertDaze to name a few. @bunnyandwolf

Amelia Sellers is the Founder and Co-Owner of Hot Nights Hair and a professional stylist specializing in men's hair and grooming. She has been a Los Angeles resident for nearly fifteen years and a professional stylist for six. Her education includes cutting/color classes from Sassoon Academy, Aveda, Wella, and American Crew.

Her passion for hair is matched with her passion for people. She believes in providing haircuts and styles that will bring out the best, most confident version of her clients through great customer service and continually building upon her craft.

Drew Tolson is an interdisciplinary artist, American Sign Language interpreter, and father of daughters. He is a California native and member of the Los Angeles chapter of Turbojugend—an international anti-racist anti-fascist punk rock fellowship. His personal studies include Hawaiian Creole, world religion, and denim.


Date & Time April 27, 2019, 11am-1pm

Instructor Natalia Geldin

Location Westmoreland Academy, 5-6 Westmoreland Place, Pasadena, 91103

Participants will learn to plan, prepare and host a dance party for their friends! Following this workshop, participants will break into committees (decorations, music, food, etc). Committees will meet in the weeks leading up to the dance party to plan and prepare.

Natalia Geldin is a community organizer and ally serving the Los Angeles autistic community. She currently serves as the Director of SPARK, a social club for autistic teens.

She has created and produced sexuality education workshops for teens and young adults with disabilities, including Dating, Intimacy and Relationships for Teens and Young Adults with Disabilities in 2017 and 2018.

Her work has included running focus groups of autistic young adults, exploring topics of dating and sexuality for CalOptima and The Center for Autism and Neurological Disorders. In 2017, she gave a presentation on supporting autistic young adults' emerging sexuality at the Mexican Consulate's 2017 Fiesta Educativa Autism Conference.

In addition to her advocacy work, Natalia regularly hosts dance parties for teens with disabilities in collaboration with Autism Interaction Solutions and Mychal's Place. She is also the Founder and Director of SPACE, an adaptive arts series for autistic youth.

Natalia is the mother of a teenage daughter with autism. Together, they enjoy exploring SoCal’s beaches, mountains and deserts.


Date Saturday, June 15, 2019, 7pm-10pm

Location All Saints Episcopal Church, 5619 Monte Vista St, Los Angeles, CA 90042

SPARK participants will host a dance party for their friends and community!