Good Purpose Gallery & Performing Arts Center
The Good Purpose Gallery & Performing Arts Center is a non-profit venture in support of the Student Educational Development Fund (SEDF). The SEDF’s mission is to provide financial support for the college educational needs of individuals with learning differences such as Asperger’s syndrome and Learning Differences, whose families are unable to afford the costs and are not eligible for support from outside means such as government grants.
The SEDF offers workshops and other opportunities for professional training and development for faculty, staff, community organizations and individuals that work with young adults with Asperger’s syndrome and learning differences.
The SEDF also provides mentoring support and studio instruction in the arts, and conducts a national art contest for young adults with learning differences and Asperger’s syndrome.
The Good Purpose Gallery promotes student artwork through reproduction and sales online and in the Gallery’s brick & mortar location on Main Street in Lee, Massachusetts. In addition, non-student artists are selected to exhibit their work in the gallery. Half of the proceeds from sales of student artwork are donated to SEDF while the students retain the remainder. Non-student artist compensation is negotiated on a case-by-case basis.
Dr. McManmon grew up the youngest son in a family of nine children. He is the father of six children and nine grandchildren. He received his B.A. in English from Mt. St. Mary's College in Maryland and went on for his Masters in Counseling from Shippensburg University.
He attended the University of Kansas for his Masters in Human Development through a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. He obtained his Doctorate in Special Education from the University of Nevada. Subsequently, he was licensed as a Psychologist by the State of Massachusetts. He worked for state, private and non-profit organizations in several states prior to founding The Berkshire Center in 1984.
During his 35 years of experience with students with Learning Differences and Asperger's Syndrome, Dr. McManmon has worked on Curriculum Development, Staff Training, Program Evaluation, and Administering Community Based Programming. He is a member of the International Learning Disabilities Association and the Independent Educational Consultants Association. Dr. McManmon speaks and presents at Professional Conferences nationally and internationally. He has an inside perspective as he himself was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and grew up in a large family with several individuals on the spectrum.
Dr. McManmon has been certified as a family teacher through the Boys Town Center in Nebraska. He has served as a PTA President, School Board Member and Parish Council Member. He has been on the Board of Directors of the Lee Chamber of Commerce, coached in the Community Soccer League and basketball league, and is an avid gardener.
Dr. McManmon's program philosophy is to provide a loving and trusting environment in which personal growth can occur. The process includes honoring each individual's talents and assisting them in using their personal power to develop skills, meet their needs and thus live independently. This process is accomplished by hiring exemplary individuals, giving them the tools to operate and working as a team.