The Fine Arts and Performing
Arts Programs encourage self-growth of individuals while they
participate in the building of community transferable skills.
Through the visual arts (painting, sculpture, collage and
environment building), writing and theater, music and movement,
individuals become engaged in diverse forms, which tap many
dimensions in their life experience.
These modalities carry them
into new avenues of creativity while seamlessly developing role
recovery with new or renewed identities as artists, musicians,
writers, and actors. Cognitive rehabilitation is also facilitated
promoting improved concentration, problem solving, visual perceptual
and motor planning skills. Self-expression naturally leads to
emotional health, including the development of positive social and
other life skills.
is fine art and performing art so effective in promoting wellness?
Though in life uncertainty is scary and disorienting, in creativity
being in a state of the unknown is necessary and magical. Making
art, music or poetry helps us transform what we know about ourselves
in the world, developing one’s freedom to express. Being able to
articulate one’s feelings and perceptions through words, music and
images is a validation of one’s unique presence on earth. Familiar
activities soft peddle individuals to explore diverse modes of
creativity, leading to more structured learning in other realms.
Often social interaction, as in the spontaneous making of music and
dance or collaborative mural making, broadens the neighbor’s
outlook on life. Created through cumulative processes the completed
art is always greater and more affirming than one can ever
The Fine Arts and Performing
Arts programs at Northeast Center for Special Care start with the
premise that all people are inherently artists who can develop
organically in one or more creative forms.
Carolyn Corbett in writing/theater, Peter Bass in music/movement,
Rick Soshensky in Music Therapy, and Susan Togut in the visual arts, facilitate individuals to access
their inner lives and find authentic modes of expressions. The
facilitators guide individuals gently to rely on themselves,
creating through self-direction as much as possible. Each program,
in its own way, helps the neighbors to feel empowered, to take risks
and move through gradual steps.
For some participant,
evolution in these programs brings them to a realization that they
are in fact, writers, musicians and artists. Some may have
experienced these roles in their earlier lives to have them renewed
and expanded in their current experiences. Others engage in these
art forms for the first time and come to recognize new, positive
identities with great pride and joy. After the challenging
difficulties all have experienced, these new identities are among
the first and often, most important steps in building new lives
following the shattering of old ones.
As one of the goals of the
Fine Arts and Performing Arts Programs at Northeast Center for
Special Care the
three facilitators of these programs collaborate on
special events, performances and projects. These include:
Seasonal multi-media performances with music, dance, poetry, and
special sets or environments within which the performances occur.
Indoor and outdoor
performances in different settings on the Northeast Center for
Special Care campus including street fairs, poetry nights, and
cabaret format theatrical productions.
An outdoor Sculpture Garden
will include a performance stage surrounded by comfortable seating
and a garden tended by the neighbors, as well as stone sculptures,
interactive musical sculptures and simulated stained glass totems.
Other collaborative projects
include a recently published book of poetry, a calendar for 2006
with words and images. These projects incorporate some of the most
interesting art produced by Resident-Neighbor at Northeast Center
for Special Care, and preserving the legacy of their creative work.
In giving their work a
greater audience the neighbors will be increasingly empowered as
their work reaches the larger community.
building seeks to enliven indoor and outdoor spaces with dynamic,
and changing art as they create a sense of place and community.
Murals with words and images and patchwork quilts exemplify simpler
In the coming year
neighbors, staff, family and outside community members will work
collaboratively on a Living With Uncertainty Sanctuary, a large,
comprehensive project. This contemplative place will be built on the
Northeast Center for Special Care campus with many simulated and
Dalle D’Vere stained glass components created by all. A labyrinth
of pathways will offer a meditative journey to the sanctuary.
The Fine Arts and Performing
Arts Programs seek to engage individuals deeply in the
process of creativity. The objective is the creation of works of
art, writing, and music through the cultivation of artistic skills
and sensibilities. These programs are intended to have a profound
disabilities are engaged in the creation of art (visual art,
writing, music, etc.), helping them grow in this process until their
creations are beautiful in their own eyes and others. Consequently
individuals undergo a fundamental transformation. They may have
begun this process viewing themselves and being viewed by others as
handicapped. Through their profound creative experiences, however,
they come to experience their wholeness and assume their identities
as artists. The completed works of art, writing and music stand as
concrete proof of this metamorphosis.
The general effect of the
intense focus and creative energy generated in these programs are to
assist individuals in experiencing themselves in a uniquely positive
way and to thereby raise self-esteem and hope about the future.
Simultaneously, the collective effect of all the creative work, at
Northeast Center for Special Care, builds a sense of community. Over
time, individuals creative works will reach and profoundly impact
the greater community and encourages their own reintegration in that
2000-2006 Northeast Center for Special Care All Rights Reserved