Through funding from the Kresge Foundation, the Institute of Music and Dance has been able to increase its outreach efforts to the community.
Building on the urban leadership mission, IMD brought an “artist as activist” to work with two special needs groups.
On October 21 & 22, 2014, IMD engaged Judy Wilson, M.Ed., an artist and art therapist who co-founded The Art Experience to work with residents at the McGivney-Bethune Senior Apartment complex and Special Needs students at Hamtramck High School.
Ms. Wilson was also invited to present a workshop to Marygrove College undergraduate art therapy students. The workshops yielded positive feelings about self and empowerment in the creative experience.
Comments from nineteen Seniors who designed boxes that reflected, in color and decorative items, their outside personality and inside feelings included:
- This was entertaining – it’s a beautiful gift to do things creative
- Stress relieving and relaxing – there is joy in colors
- Learned about creativity of others and our different choices
- Nice learning experience visiting with friends
Fifteen Special Needs students at Hamtramck High School worked on a project that “introduced them on paper.” They used line, color and shape and then words that described and symbolized them. Some of the words chosen were: good, funny, Detroiter, loyal, pretty, brave, Bosnian, hopeful, respectful. Comments included:
- It made me think about my life and who I am.
- This is fun, relaxing and stress free.
- This made me think about myself. It was helpful and fun.
Eighteen Marygrove College undergraduate art therapy students were enlightened by Ms. Wilson’s presentation.
- I learned that the littlest thing that you draw or create can be the outcome of how you actually feel. It was an amazing experience for me because the breathing experiment actually calmed me down and relieved some stress.
- A wonderful experience. It was very inspirational, informative and relaxing. It shows how powerful art really is.
- Fun, enjoyable, creative learning environment and great knowledge of art therapy.
- It was a mind opening experience; it helped me discover something about myself.
Thank you to the administrators and teachers that made these workshops possible: Mary Lou Greene, Michelle Pate, Dashika Daniels and Veronica Lassen.