Kardon Institute began in 1976 as an extension of a pilot rehabilitative music program offered collaboratively by Moss Rehabilitation Hospital and Settlement Music School. In 1985, a generous endowment grant from Emanuel S. Kardon through the Samuel and Rebecca Kardon Foundation established the Kardon Institute for the Handicapped as an independent non-profit organization.
Over the years, our services and focus have expanded to serve individuals with all types of special needs, regardless of their financial standing, and to offer outreach programs through collaborations with organizations throughout the region. Kardon staff provide services to over 1,200 clients weekly. In 2000, the name was changed to Kardon Institute for Arts Therapy to reflect our standing as the only organization in the Greater Philadelphia Region dedicated to providing comprehensive Creative Arts Therapy.
A native of Philadelphia, Emanuel S. Kardon was a businessman who dedicated his life to philanthropy and the arts.
In 1930, Mr. Kardon joined the family business, Kardon Paper Products. Mr. Kardon’s father, Samuel, founded the firm in 1903. He later changed the name to American Packaging Corporation to represent the diversity of the flexible packaging materials the firm produced. As the company prospered, Mr. Kardon spent much of his time helping the less fortunate, especially children.
He was chairman and president of the company until he sold the business and retired in 1986.
His interests in people with disabilities and his love of music led him to establish the Kardon Institute of Music for the Handicapped in 1985.