ArtAbility Summer Program Begins 6/15 at Imagination Stage

Imagination Stage is the proud lead partner of ArtAbility, a free, collaborative multi-genre arts experience designed for middle school students on the autism spectrum. ArtAbility partners include Glen Echo Park, The Puppet Company, and The Ivymount School; it is generously supported by The Jim and Carol Trawick Foundation. Participants explore drama, movement, music, puppetry, and visual arts, and learn new forms of self-expression, while developing communication and socialization skills. The upcoming Summer program culminates in a devised theatre sharing performed at Glen Echo Park, crafted by the ArtAbility participants themselves.

Heading into the third Summer of programming, ArtAbility-available to those who reside in Montgomery County, Maryland-hosted a successful Spring Family Series, which featured performances and experiences at each of the four partner organizations. Additionally, it offered interactive, hands-on family workshops in a variety of artistic disciplines. Families are now looking forward to an exciting Summer ahead beginning June 15 for a three-week full-day program. For more information, visit glenechopark.org/artability-2015.

"We are so excited to once again work in partnership with Glen Echo Park, The Ivymount School, and the Puppet Co. to bring this program to students who may not always have access to a traditional arts experience," says Director of Access and Inclusion Diane Nutting. "ArtAbility allows these young artists an opportunity to explore their full creative potential while finding new ways of self-expression. In addition, we firmly believe that the nature of collaborative arts experiences like ArtAbility provide organic opportunities for participants to develop the important lifelong learning skills of communication, cooperation, flexibility, empathy, agency, and self-advocacy."

The program will culminate in a final sharing of an original performance created and performed by the student participants with guidance from their teaching artists on July 2 at Glen Echo Park. Teaching artists for ArtAbility, including staff and faculty from Imagination Stage, The Ivymount School, and The Puppet Company, 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 participants in the program.

Since 2012, The Jim and Carol Trawick Foundation has provided funding for ArtAbility, one of its innovative " TeamUp" projects that use the strengths of multiple organizations to best serve area youth.

ABOUT ARTABILITY

Now in its third year of programming, 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 TrawickFoundation.

ABOUT IMAGINATION STAGE

Founded in 1979, Imagination Stage is a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to inspire creativity through theatre and arts education programs that nurture, challenge, and empower young people of all abilities. It offers year-round professional theatre for young audiences and classes in creative drama/acting, musical theatre, dance, and filmmaking for ages 1-18.


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