Art helping youth with disabilities to express their voices

Posted on Thursday, 23 October 2014

The Horizon Theatre Company is “Ready and Able” to help young people living with disabilities express themselves through art thanks to a $13,396 donation from Canterbury League Club.

“Ready and Able” is a special program run by Horizon with aim to provide young people in the Canterbury local government area with access to creative and recreational activities. Participants are matched to activities based on their individual talents, abilities and interests, and include workshops in drama, music, costume and make-up, puppetry and photography.

“When young people come to Horizon, they learn skills and are provided with opportunities for self-expression without the fear of negative consequences. They have the freedom to make their own mistakes in a safe environment,” said Maddy Slabacu, Artistic Director at Horizon Theatre Company.

Aside from their “Ready and Able” program, Horizon also runs at least four other programs catering to different segments within the over 500 young people participating each year.

“We tailor our programs and projects to different age groups, interests and abilities. It is important to give the participants equal opportunities to access the art and theatre industry – it is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution,” said Maddy.

Participants are actively encouraged to show-off their newly-acquired skills at group performances held at festivals and other special events as well as at short season recitals organised by Horizon throughout the year.

“Art has always been a wonderful way to connect people together – participants learn how to work in teams, overcome social phobias and form great friendships with each other. Horizon provides a nurturing environment which really helps participants build their self-confidence,” said Dr George Peponis OAM, Chairman of the Canterbury League Club.