The Community Create Club – Building Something Beautiful

by Tayler Sykora

Within every individual is a rainbow, an endless array of colors and emotions waiting to spill across the sky and reveal their beauty to the world in an unparalleled palette of hues and pigments. Everyone has a rainbow; and whether it be glazed in a gentle green or bursting with bright blues, the Community Create Club believes every rainbow deserves a chance to sparkle in the sunlight.

The Community Create Club is a unique and heart-filled therapeutic program dedicated to promoting creative expression for teens and adults of all abilities. As a canvas for creativity in their community, this program offers a variety of artistic outlets such as music, art, and movement through which participants are able to express their thoughts and feelings while also improving their physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being.

Cultivating our Colors

The Community Create Club welcomes individuals of ALL ABILITIES and is respectful of unique needs.

“The goal of the Community Create Club is to allow individuals to express themselves and to feel comfortable expressing themselves,” says Katie Corbett, MT-BC, MAMT, and the owner and founder of Singing Heart, “Whether through art or through music, there is always something they can do to express themselves”.

The Community Create Club offers personalized programs tailored to tend to the specific needs and personalities of each participant, providing individuals with a nurturing environment where they are free to express themselves and develop their skills at a pace that is comfortable for them. Every individual has their own unique set of skills and abilities – their own unique array of colors – that come together to form their inner rainbow; and by cultivating these skills through music and art-based activities, this program helps their colors to be brighter and bolder.

At the Community Create Club, individuals can explore their potential and their purpose while also having fun. By participating in physical activities such as dancing, stretching, painting, drawing, cutting, playing instruments, and playing with scarves and parachutes, the Community Create Club helps individuals to:

• Improve their overall physical development

• Develop their fine and gross motor skills

• Practice their coordination and balance

• Understand how their body moves and functions

• Express themselves through movement

In addition to promoting physical development, the Community Create Club also offers a variety of activities that stimulate the senses and assist in cognitive development. Participants at the Community Create Club are encouraged to use their imagination and to explore new projects. They are encouraged to be curious and to look at the world around them with wide eyes and wonder, allowing individuals to learn and to grow in a way that is both enjoyable and therapeutic.

At the Community Create Club, every day is a new adventure with new colors, new sounds, and new textures. Whether it be through the vibrations of the instruments, the rhythm of the music, the patterns in the paintings, or the feeling of clay between their fingers, every project offers a new opportunity to stimulate the mind. Participants are even encouraged to write their own poetry. “You just never know what project or what creative task is going to touch who," says Lynn Raarup, an instructor with the Community Create Club, “Different tasks mean different things for different people, and everyone has their own unique style”.

Harmonizing our Hues

On their own, rain is simply rain and sunshine is simply sunshine, but by coming together, they create something beautiful. They create a rainbow. They create a dazzling pattern of complimentary

colors, each unique hue inspiring brightness in the others by merely being the color that they are. In a similar way, the Community Create Club promotes personal and social development among its participants by bringing together a diverse palette of personalities and styles. This not only encourages social interaction, but also provides individuals with the opportunity to learn from another and to grow in each other’s presence.

By working together to dance, play instruments, create collages, sew a quilt, and other group activities that require cooperation and teamwork, individuals can:

• Gain experience socializing and communicating with others

• Practice starting a conversation and sharing thoughts with peers

• Find friendships and support among other participants

• Acquire confidence and a sense of accomplish through their contributions

“I wanted to create a place in the community for people with disabilities,” says Katie, “a place where they can go and be a part of a group, have social interaction, and fit in”. To promote this sense of belonging, the Community Create Club also arranges recitals and art exhibits to provide participants with the opportunity to showcase their abilities and get involved in the community in a way that fits their needs. Sharing their skills through these activities and other group projects not only increases confidence, but also allows the individual to see or hear the results of his or her own contribution.

An individual can look at a project they created with their peers, they can see the incredible outcomes that working together can have, and they know that it was their skills and their involvement that helped to make that project a possibility. “Together we create something beautiful,” says Lynn. Together we create a masterpiece – a community where we all belong and where our colors can shine together. Together we create a rainbow.

Revealing our Rainbows

Every heart holds a rainbow; and like all rainbows, ours needs sunlight to shine. Ours needs happiness. Ours needs love. And by believing in our potential and by believing in our abilities, we are shedding light on not only ourselves, but everyone around us.

At the Community Create Club, individuals are able to learn and to grow while also having fun.

They are able to laugh and play, paint and dance, make music and glue collages, and other enjoyable activities that help make the Community Create Club

a cheerful and positive environment for individuals of all abilities. These activities not only promote happiness and are, therefore, therapeutic for the individual’s emotional wellbeing, but also inspire a sense of enthusiasm for life and an excitement for learning, benefiting the individual’s overall health.

“The Community Create Club is about finding opportunities for joy,” says Katie, “It is about seeing their smiles and knowing they are happy being who they are.” Through music and movement, art and imagination, the Community Create Club dedicates themselves to making smiles and making moments count. This program allows individuals to let go of negative feelings and frustrations and replace them with confidence and joy – drying the rain in their lives with a warm and shimmering sunlight filled with happiness.

When an individual is happy, their inner light shines through; and when their light shines, their rainbow soon follows. The result is a stunning palette of all that they are and all they are capable of; and it is a combination of colors so unique and so beautifully breathtaking that even the sun is blinded by its brilliance.

For more information about the Community Create Club at Singing Heart, contact Katie Corbett at Katie@singing-heart.org or 651-373-4336. 

New participants are invited to attend their first Community Create Club class at no charge. Come see if this class is a good fit for you! This class meets Tuesdays 10:00-12:00, and is offered to participants 18 years and older.

About the author:  Tayler Sykora is a student at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls majoring in marketing communications with a minor in professional writing. Tayler has writing several articles for ConnectrWC focusing on disability-related topics of interest to individuals with special needs, their families and the community.
Email: tayler.sykora@my.uwrf.edu
Phone: 715-338-6150