In the realm of illusion and magic, Kevin Spencer, Ph.D., stands out not just for his mesmerizing performances but for the profound impact he has had on the lives of countless individuals. With a career spanning over 25 years, Spencer has evolved from being the 2009 International Illusionist of the Year and a six-time Performing Arts Entertainer of the Year to becoming a pioneer in the field of magic therapy.
At the zenith of his theatrical illusion career, where grand stages and accolades awaited him, Spencer took an unexpected turn. Leaving behind the glittering lights, he found a new calling – one that involved classrooms and hospitals instead of the expansive theaters.
His mission? To use the art of magic as a catalyst for change in the lives of those often overlooked or deemed hard to reach – children with autism, developmental disabilities, intellectual challenges, emotional disturbance, and those with histories of trauma.
Spencer’s credentials speak volumes about his commitment to this cause. Not only is he the 2015 International Illusionist of the Year, a title awarded by The Milbourne Christopher Foundation, but he is also the leading international authority on the academic and therapeutic benefits of incorporating simple magic tricks in educational and clinical settings.
Dr. Spencer wears many hats, and each one has a purpose. As faculty with Harvard Medical Teaching Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital, he contributes to the “Pediatric Sedation Outside the Operating Room” conference, blending magic seamlessly with medicine. His role as an adjunct faculty and research consultant for the Department of Occupational Therapy and Arts in Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham reflects his dedication to integrating magic into healthcare practices.
Not confining himself to the medical realm, Spencer is also an adjunct faculty in the department of education at Carlow University in Pittsburgh. His influence extends beyond borders, as he serves as a Fulbright Specialist on arts integration for special populations for the U.S. Department of State. Furthermore, his status as an Approved Provider of Continuing Education for the American Occupational Therapy Association underscores the educational impact of his work.
Spencer’s academic journey has equipped him with the tools to make a meaningful difference. Armed with a B.S. in Psychology, M.Ed. in Arts & Academic Interdisciplinary Education, and a Ph.D. in Education/Special Education, he stands at the intersection of magic and academia. His additional certifications in Autism Studies and as a Trauma Support Specialist showcase a deep understanding of the diverse challenges he seeks to address.
But it’s not just about the degrees and accolades; it’s about the tangible impact. Spencer’s magic transcends the boundaries of entertainment and dives into the realm of therapy. His Magic Therapy™ Project, a finalist in the Anthem Community Voice Awards, exemplifies his commitment to arts-integrated work in health and wellness.
The Magic Therapy™ Project isn’t just a venture; it’s a testament to Spencer’s belief in the transformative power of magic. By combining entertainment with therapy, he brings joy and healing to those who need it most. The project has garnered recognition as a finalist in the Anthem Community Voice Awards, an acknowledgment of its significant contribution to the community.
In his own words, Spencer urges support for the Magic Therapy™ Project: “Voting is easy, but you will need to verify your email to ensure the validity and integrity of the process. It takes all of about 2 minutes to complete these steps…and I hope you’ll take a moment to vote! Voting closes on December 21.”
Kevin Spencer’s journey from the grand stages of illusion to the intimate spaces of classrooms and hospitals is not just a career shift; it’s a testament to the transformative power of his art. In a world that sometimes feels overwhelming, Spencer’s magic serves as a beacon of hope, proving that even the simplest tricks can bring about profound change.