Easterseals RISE has been awarded a $3,500 grant from the Steuben County United Way for a new 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. Creation of a performance troupe is among the goals, and members of the community will be invited to future performances.
The project also includes training for Easterseals RISE 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 this grant specifically supports Easterseals RISE in Angola, the performing arts initiative will be implemented collaboratively at Easterseals Arc in Fort Wayne, Easterseals RISE in Angola and Cardinal Services in Warsaw.