Fort Wayne, Ind. — Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana has been awarded a $4,000 grant from the Indiana Arts Commission for a new performing arts project. The project uses the activities of performing arts to enhance the mental health and quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The initiative will be implemented collaboratively throughout the Easterseals Northern Indiana network, which includes Easterseals Arc in Fort Wayne, Easterseals Passages in Columbia City, Easterseals RISE in Angola, and Cardinal Services in Warsaw.
Participants will learn creative tools for self-expression, increase their artistic skills, deepen social connections, and cultivate a strong sense of purpose. The goals include creation of performance troupes at Easterseals Northern Indiana locations, and community members will be invited to performances.
“We’re tremendously excited to implement this new project,” said Donna K. Elbrecht, CEO of Easterseals Northern Indiana. “We know from past experience that the more people are given opportunities and encouraged to express themselves, the more confident, independent, and outgoing they become. They find themselves trying new things and meeting new people.”
The project also includes training for Easterseals Northern Indiana staff on the use of effective methods of working with people with disabilities in the performing arts arena. The training assures that the program will continue and sustain itself well beyond the grant period.