Columbia City, Indiana — Easterseals Passages has been awarded a $1,200 grant from the Community Foundation of Whitley County for a new interdisciplinary performing arts project. The project will use the activities of performing arts to enhance the mental health and quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Participants will learn creative tools for self-expression, increase their artistic skills, deepen social connections, and cultivate a strong sense of purpose. The project’s goals include creation of a performance troupe, and the community will be invited to future performances.
The project also includes training for Easterseals Passages 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.
“We’re tremendously excited to implement this new project,” said Donna K. Elbrecht, CEO of Easterseals Arc of Northeast 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.”
While the grant specifically supports Easterseals Passages in Columbia City, the performing arts initiative also we be implemented collaboratively at Easterseals Arc in Fort Wayne, Easterseals RISE in Angola and Cardinal Services in Warsaw.