GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A resource in Grand Rapids is connecting individuals with disabilities with artists in the community, creating a safe environment to express their creativity.
Artists Creating Together was created in 1986 and in the last year the program helped 6,000 individuals through art.
“Artists Creating Together is an art studio for individuals with disabilities,” said owner Angela Steele. “We serve them through art education and that is both visual arts but also performing arts so each semesters we will have different offerings for both youth and adults and those will vary and we hire local professional artists to teach those classes. We teach here in our studio but we also have classes in hospital and at partner agencies and at large scale art events out in the community.”
The program offers a variety of classes not only in traditional art but also culinary art and theatrics.
“It is actually a fun place to be and stuff to do things with,” said student James Dykstra. “It is actually being with friends and with people like to do artwork and the teachers are very nice for the classes.”
ACT offers youth and adult programs and also special programs where the instructors visit West Michigan hospitals for classes.
The classes are for individuals with disabilities and their family members, but the center is always looking for people to help out and volunteer.
“This is a great place to work but this also a great place volunteer,” Steele said. “A lot of times we feel like we are getting more out of the classes and learning more from our students then they are learning from us. It is a safe environment for all and it is a great way to express yourself creatively.”
For those looking to volunteer or would like more information on ACT’s programs they can visit the program’s website.