My Expressions at L.I.F.E. Adult Day Academy
The My Expressions, or ME, program launched in October of 2017 to serve adults in the Fort Wayne community with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The program currently offers four components:
- Daytime performances allows the academy’s students access to live, interactive music during their social hour. Performers encourage participation through shaker eggs, ribbons, and other rhythm instruments. Performances are designed to be completely accessible so that students of all levels of ability can join in the enriching experience of music-making.
- In partnership with It Is Music Time, LLC, a student chorus practices singing weekly. In the spring, they perform for their peers and the public at the downtown ArtsLab.
- Students engage in adaptive dance. Like their choral counterparts, they practice choreography and perform at the downtown ArtsLab in the spring. This program is in partnership with an adaptive dance teaching artist.
- Students rehearse and perform narrative theatre plays twice a year. They practice public speaking and build confidence, then perform for their family and the public. This program is in collaboration with theatre director Shelby Lewis.
The program promotes physical, emotional, and social well-being. But most importantly, it’s fun for everyone involved!
Programs for the Aging and Ill
We provide community-oriented performances where our audiences live and receive care. The program encourages interaction and participation through singing along, dancing, and clapping. Our wide variety of artists, groups, and ensembles perform 225 events each month at our partner facilities, bringing smiles and sweet memories everywhere they go.
“Music takes the residents back in their time. The feeling of yesterday – joy, laughter, precious moments shared with loved ones – comes back.” – Facility Staff Member
We bring music directly to the bedsides of those who are room-bound. Our artists have recurring programs at the same facility, allowing them to build relationships with these patients. They learn residents’ favorite songs and sing happy birthday. This personal interaction brings incredible joy to community members who cannot attend events. More than 300 programs are presented annually.
“When an AUI artist visited one of our [bedfast] residents and started playing and singing, the resident opened her eyes, which were sparkling. She gave a smile, her foot began to move to the tune “You Are My Sunshine”, which the artist knew was her favorite. She knows that someone cares.” – Facility Staff Member
We offer our partner facilities access to 45 rich cultural events that take place throughout the community. Our residents can visit the botanical gardens, go to the ballet, and listen to the live orchestra. Local arts organizations provide complimentary tickets, and we provides transportation when needed. Some of our partners are Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Fort Wayne Ballet, Embassy Theatre, Fort Wayne Civic Theater, and The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.
“We have a resident that is severely impaired. She used to play cello for the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. She was out to hear the Phil today. She was smiling, and her foot was tapping.” – Facility Staff Member