The roots of the MFPA go back to 1956, when Erich Stegmann, a polio-stricken mouth painter, gathered a small band of disabled artists from eight European countries. Their ultimate goal was to make their living through their artistic efforts, and to obtain a sense of work security that until then had eluded them.
Coupling his creative abilities with business acumen, Stegmann established the MFPA as a co-operative organization that reproduces its artists work mainly in the form of cards, calendars and books.
|One of the main themes of Stegmann's credo was that the MFPA must never be regarded as a charity simply because its members are disabled.
To this day, the MFPA's motto in Canada remains: “Self Help – Not Charity.”