Foundation of Arts "LEAP" with opportunities

Foundation of Arts "LEAP" with opportunities
(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Clients with Abilities Unlimited "leaped" at the chance to show their talent on stage.

An exciting performance took place at the Foundation of Arts on Wednesday.

The Learning Expression through Arts Program, or LEAP, has returned for another year.

LEAP is an outreach program partnered between Abilities Unlimited and the Foundation of Arts.

Kristi Pulliam, the executive director of the Foundation of Arts, said the program has been going strong for well over 10 years.

"It's a way for us to connect to adults with special needs," Pulliam said. "They get classes twice a week, visual art, performance and communication arts. Then, they get to produce their own original production on the Forum stage each year."

Pulliam said both performers and teachers have a ball preparing for the performance.

"Sometimes it's the reason they get up and go to school every day," Pulliam said. "They're so excited to do it. And, of course, if we can mark their growth every year. And they just have such a great time. And the audience as well. They come and see the show and walk away smiling. It's just really good for everybody."

Pulliam said participation in the arts help people grow.

"Engagement in the arts," Pulliam said. "It changes lives. It's no more true than here with the clients at Abilities Unlimited. We have the best time watching what they do because we can see their growth. It's just exponential. As soon as they start learning about the arts and then they perform on the stage, it's just amazing to see how the arts can change people's lives."

Pulliam said participation in events like this one help improves other areas of a person's life.

"It helps their communication skills," Pulliam said. "And their confidence. Most people understand that as your confidence grows your ability grows as well. Because you're willing to experiment and take risks. And that's the best about the arts."

Pulliam said they could use the public's help to keep the program going.

"It's important to support the LEAP program through the Foundation of Arts," Pulliam said. "Usually this program is supported through a grant. But as most people in non-profits understand, grants are really diminishing."

At least 30 clients with Abilities Unlimited participated in the LEAP program this year.

If you would like to support the LEAP program, you can contact the Foundation of Arts at 935-2726 or go to their website by clicking here.

For more information about Abilities Unlimited, click here.

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