Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are studying how a magic arts training program can specifically benefit adolescents with unilateral cerebral palsy, which affects movement and muscle tone on one side of the body. The research will be done through a virtual magic camp program, a collaboration between UAB Arts in Medicine, the UAB School of Health Professions’ Department of Occupational Therapy and Hocus Focus Creative Learning Through the Arts, created and led by illusionist and educator Kevin Spencer, Ph.D. The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded UAB Arts in Medicine an $80,000 research grant for this study.
Magic, or illusion, is a performing art using staged tricks or illusions of seemingly impossible feats using natural means intended to entertain audiences. It is an often-misunderstood contemporary art form, a type of theater that uses elements of drama, improvisation, movement, creative writing and presentation.