Bringing the Magic to Students—Virtually

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Magician and autism educator Kevin Spencer is ready for his third Lensic arts education residency—only this time, he’s using Zoom to connect with Santa Fe kids.

Starting Monday, November 9, Kevin will spend a week leading workshops for 30 special needs and inclusive classrooms in the Santa Fe Public Schools. As on past visits, he’s working closely with the district’s autism support specialist, Jocelin Tilton, to reach as many kids as possible, with a maximum of seven students per workshop.

Kevin’s Hocus Focus curriculum, based on peer-reviewed research and analytical data, uses the hands-on teaching of magic to increase abilities and outcomes for students with autism and special needs in five key skills areas: cognitive, motor, communication, social, and creativity/flexible thinking.

His workshops were a hit with local students, teachers, and parents in 2018 and 2019, and now he’s adapted them for a virtual format. Kevin will teach the kids magic tricks using objects they can easily find at home, from coins to pieces of paper and disposable cups. Because many of the kids remember him from previous Santa Fe visits, reconnecting over the internet is expected to go smoothly.

Kevin’s last Lensic residency, a week of workshops and a public magic show at The Lensic in late March, had to be canceled because of the pandemic. We’re pleased that he’s modified the program for fall 2020 and can’t wait to have Kevin return again in 2021—hopefully in person!

Program Supporters
Support for this program is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Sulica Fund. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit