Inclusive Performing Arts Workshops for Individuals with Disabilities (2014)

We offer a total of nine 8-week series of Goldmine Saturday Workshops throughout the year: one 8-week series of children’s theatre workshops, four 8-week series of teen/adult theatre workshops, and four 8-week series of teen/adult performing arts workshops. Our theatre workshops utilize improvisational activities and our performing arts workshops consist of group singing and choreographed dance. While studying and expressing theatre, music, and dance, our participants improve their self esteem, cooperation, fitness, and creativity — as measured on program evaluations filled out by the participants’ parents. Our goal is to nurture an on-going, inclusive community of performing arts enthusiasts.

Recent studies show that higher functioning individuals with autism are faring no better than lower functioning people with autism in securing jobs, much less in developing meaningful careers. For many of them this leads to depression and a life-long dependence on government programs. It also brings some of them to the point of considering suicide. This is a tragedy of untapped genius and the loss of their contributions to us all.

We have found that inclusive performing arts is a ‘match made in heaven’ for those with autism and other disabilities in that it creates an opportunity for them to come out of isolation and enjoy the association of their peers in a creative and engaging environment.

The primary purpose of the Goldmine Saturday Workshops is to help individuals with autism and other disabilities to reach their full potential and lead happy, self-determined lives. Being able to express an art proves to be a powerful ally in living life with the challenges of a disability.