ArtAbility Camp Runs Through 7/3

ArtAbility Camp Runs Through 7/3

Imagination Stage is the lead partner of ArtAbility-alongside Glen Echo Park, the Puppet Company, and The Ivymount School-which is a free, collaborative multi-genre arts experience designed for middle school students on the autism spectrum. Participants explore drama, movement, music, visual arts, and puppetry, and learn new forms of self-expression, while developing communication and socialization skills. The upcoming summer program culminates in a devised theatre sharing at Glen Echo Park, crafted and performed by the ArtAbility campers themselves.

After a successful inaugural year of programming in 2013, ArtAbility-available to those who reside in Montgomery County, Maryland-hosted a successful 2014 spring program, which met once a week for six weeks. Everyone involved, including many returning families, looks forward to an exciting summer program of a three-week full-day experience, running now through July 3. Imagination Stage's Director of Access and Inclusion Diane Nutting, is "delighted by the growth we see in each individual camper, and the ensemble as a whole."

"ArtAbility provides a wonderful opportunity for young people on the spectrum to explore their creative potential in a safe and welcoming environment," says Nutting. "Being an artist is about telling your story. We are thrilled to be able to offer these young artists a wide range of mediums and entry points that provide them with the vocabulary and context to tell their stories in a unique and creative way, while strengthening their own communication and socialization skills."

The camp's final sharing-an original performance piece created entirely by the students with guidance from professional teaching artists-will be performed for family and friends on July 3 at Glen Echo Park. Teaching artists for ArtAbility, including three Imagination Stage staff members, are highly qualified in their respective art forms, and have extensive experience working with children who have disabilities. The program is further supported by trained teen volunteers who serve as "mentors" to the campers throughout the program.

ArtAbility is designed and implemented through a partnership between Imagination Stage, Glen Echo Park, the Puppet Company, and The Ivymount School, and is made possible through the generosity of the Jim and Carol Trawick Foundation. Imagination Stage has been a partner of ArtAbility since the inception of the program in 2013. More information, including a preview video of the program, can be found at: www.glenechopark.org/artability-2014.

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