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Actor and playwright Harvey Fierstein may have said it best: “Art has the power to transform, to illuminate, to educate, inspire and motivate.”

If you have ever played a musical instrument, performed on stage, or painted a picture, you know how exhilarating and rewarding it can be. Exploring new hobbies, particularly in the arts, can help build confidence, enhance communication, expand our minds, and improve socialization skills. It can also relieve stress, build fine motor skills, and help us discover untapped talent. Most importantly, it can bring joy to our lives.

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities are no different than most of us in that with a little encouragement and the opportunity to try new things, their lives can be enriched through art.

Providing art therapy for the people we support at Evergreen Life Services is one of the many worthwhile and proven tools we use to enhance the quality of life for the individuals who live at our homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. According to the American Art Therapy Association (AARTA), art therapy can help increase focus and attention span, improve brain function, and boost self-esteem. It can also help increase self-awareness and develop healthy and effective coping skills.

We often use art therapy to provide a meaningful outlet for individuals to express their feelings. Creating art can also help ease frustration and instill pride. Art therapy is also used to teach practical daily living skills and vocational training by helping the people we support learn to put supplies away and clean up after themselves.

At Evergreen, we strive to increase a sense of self-worth and provide added dimension to the lives of the people we serve. Art therapy is a fun way for them to discover new and interesting ways to productively spend their time. They create paintings, jewelry, and a myriad of beautiful pieces. They also receive vocational training and meaningful employment by working with HEAVENDROPt, a social enterprise of Evergreen that uses official military parachutes to create items such as masks, hammocks, pet bandanas and more. Many of the people we serve are so pleased with their artwork, that they choose to proudly display their unique and original pieces for purchase on our website, which creates meaningful employment and a sense of independence.

For more information on how you can help support Evergreen Life Services enrich the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through art therapy, contact us today!

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