Interact is absolutely essential to the artists during the pandemic. More than 60 professional artists with disabilities currently connect with their peers each weekday. Our artists can choose among FIFTY Zoom classes, including drawing, dance, art history, writing, and improvisation.
Please read their statements below and consider a donation to keep us going. Interact must remain open remotely until it’s safe to return to our beloved center. Thank you!
Before I came to Interact I had an emotional wall around me. It separated me from other people. I knew I had an imagination inside of me but it had no outlet. Then I came to Interact and my creativity was unleashed and I became part of the community. The shows we do open people’s eyes to see people with disabilities in a different light. We inspire people with our talent and abilities.
Before I came to Interact, I cost the government a lot of money. I was hospitalized for mental health reasons. When I found Interact I fell in love. I started to relax and I am calmer. My mental health improved. Then the pandemic hit and I was alone again. Seeing everyone online has given me a social life again and has given me hope.
I have been a professional artist most of my life. I was also working as a therapist and live with bipolar disorder. I use art and writing as part of my treatment. But when I retired I became isolated and then I found Interact. The socialization is just incredible and I can practice visual arts as well as performing arts. It doesn’t get any better than Interact for community.
My community and friends are very important to me.
Michelle (Koko’s Mom):
Since Interact had to close, the remote program has been a life-saver. Every single day has been valuable. The Zoom program is so excellent. My son is who he is because of the remote learning.
We at Interact have so many passions and feelings. We put them out on stage. We are superheroes!
I was stuck in a place and time before I came to Interact. When I came to Interact the walls around me opened up. It was like I came out of prison and exploded in multiple directions. I will never go back into that prison again.
Interact for me is life-changing and life saving. I was hospitalized multiple times for my mental health. Because of this I couldn’t go back to the career I was passionate about. I had anger, rage, and frustration with communication. Through Interact and creating art I found language and my voice. When COVID hit, our community of artists was shattered. Now that we have our Zoom classes, it keeps our artists connected and feeding off each other’s creativity and ideas.
I had a job in a sheltered workshop putting things in boxes before I came to Interact. I always craved mental stimulation and I got none in my job. Then I heard about Interact and got accepted. At Interact my ideas and creativity are encouraged every day. The world needs our ideas now more than ever. The world needs us now to give hope to others. That’s what our role is at Interact.
Interact helped me be a better actor and make friends. All of my fellow actors complete who I am now! I wouldn’t be the person that I am without Interact.
I was extremely shy when I showed up at Interact. I only talked to the staff. I was ashamed of who I was. The staff helped me believe in myself. I have performed in dozens of shows and had a leading role at our show at the Guthrie. My creativity now defines who I am as a person.
I was extremely shy when I came to Interact. My only friend was my stuffed animal Gigi. I wrote a song with our composer Aaron Gabriel entitled “Time to put your toys away” and performed it in a Cabaret. I was able to let go of Gigi and make friends. Interact changed my life. I am a singer and actor now. I’m not shy at all.