2014 Mid-Winter Arts Festival at Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center on Feb 10th to Feature Blues Concert and Photography Exhibition by Crotched Mountain Clients

Event is Culmination of Artist-in-Residency Programs with Blues Artist T.J. Wheeler and Photographer Geoff Forester 


Zachary arts festival 

GREENFIELD, N.H. – Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center is hosting the 2014 Mid-Winter Arts Festival on Monday, February 10th at 1:00 p.m. in Carter Hall on its Greenfield campus. The event is the culmination of two artist residencies and will feature a blues concert with artist-in-residence TJ Wheeler and students of Crotched Mountain School as well as a photography exhibit of Crotched Mountain clients who studied under artist-in-residence Geoff Forester. The event is free and open to the public.

The residency with TJ Wheeler is one of a series of 12 provided by the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire and VSA New Hampshire under a contract with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Additional support is provided by Raising The Blues, Ltd. “This residency program provides a flexible learning environment and places teaching artists highly experienced in working with students with cognitive, physical and emotional disabilities in schools where there are a high number of these students,” said Frumie Selchen, executive director of the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire, who brought TJ Wheeler to Crotched Mountain. “Known for his exploration of American roots music, TJ Wheeler teaches songs, brings a variety of instruments for students to play, encourages the students to sing and dance, and provides music history background. It’s a great way to educate the students on music, and at the same time provide a social, emotional, and self-esteem-building experience for all the participants.”

“We are very happy to help bring this artist-in-residency program with TJ Wheeler to Crotched Mountain and provide a cultural and artistic experience for the students at Crotched Mountain School,” added Selchen. “Seeing the students work together to make music and play for an appreciative audience is really inspirational.”

In addition, award-winning photographer Geoff Forester of Concord, N.H., holds ongoing photography residency programs with students, patients and residential clients of Crotched Mountain. Geoff spent eight prize-winning years as photo editor of The Concord Monitor, followed by seven more years as a photo editor at The Boston Globe.

The photos taken by Crotched Mountain clients during this residency will be showcased at the festival.

“Geoff works with clients of all abilities using adaptive technologies, such as specialized switches, that allow clients to operate their cameras independently,” said Deb DeCicco, coordinator of the healing arts program at Crotched Mountain Foundation. “He teaches photography techniques including composition, lighting and working with a personal theme. Photography brings opportunity for self expression, shared artistic experience and is a great motivator for achieving other personal goals.”

According to DeCicco, a hallmark of Crotched Mountain’s programming is the integration of arts into education and rehabilitation.

“The arts can play a transformational role in healing, expressing ideas and building community,” said DeCicco.

Crotched Mountain’s Healing Arts Program works with individual artists and organizations like the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire to bring local, regional and national artists to the Greenfield campus and other Crotched Mountain locations for short and long-term artist residencies in a variety of disciplines. Visiting artists design workshops for Crotched Mountain students, patients and clients. Individual instruction, group activities and culminating performances or exhibitions are part of each residency. 

About the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire

The Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire is a nonprofit network working through partnerships throughout the state to promote, support and sustain culture, heritage and the arts. AANNH’s vision is to provide meaningful arts experiences in all disciplines to people of all ages and abilities; to optimize outreach through creative collaborations; to keep learning at the core of arts activities; and to ensure equity and access. Through its partnership with VSA NH, AANNH has been offering highly successful inclusion programs for both students and educators for the past seven years.

The Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire has a long and successful record of providing high-quality arts education programming through partnerships with schools and organizations at the local, state and regional levels. This strong commitment includes developing and presenting over 150 education programs annually—including artist residencies, workshops, professional-development trainings, assemblies and hands-on participatory sessions in all arts disciplines – that engage teachers, students, parents, administrators and community members. The Arts Alliance receives operating support from the NH State Council on the Arts and works with the Council and the NH Dept. of Education to coordinate the NH Arts Learning Network.

VSA NH: The State Organization on Arts and Disability, has an extensive artist roster, and a long history of working with schools serving students with disabilities and of mentoring teaching artists. For the past seven years the Arts Alliance has developed a vital partnership with VSA NH, combining VSA’s expertise and experience in the disability field with the Arts Alliance’s state- and region-wide collaboration. Together they have been offering highly regarded programs promoting the use of the arts as a tool for students with developmental and social delays.

Raising The Blues, Ltd., is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing music to children undergoing medical treatment or recovery, and children with physical, emotional or educational challenges. Primarily through the use of Blues music, Raising The Blues seeks to raise the spirits, abilities and aspirations of children who can benefit from musical enrichment and interactive musical opportunities.

For additional information, contact the Arts Alliance at info@aannh.org, 603-323-7302.

About Crotched Mountain Foundation

Crotched Mountain Foundation is a charitable organization founded in 1953 with a mission to serve individuals with disabilities and their families, embracing personal choice and development, and building communities of mutual support. Crotched Mountain provides specialized education, rehabilitation, community and residential support services for more than 3,000 people throughout New England and New York. For more information about Crotched Mountain, please visit www.crotchedmountain.org

Photo Caption:
Crotched Mountain School student Zachary practices for an upcoming blues concert with artist-in-residence T.J. Wheeler. Zachary, Wheeler and other Crotched Mountain students will perform as part of Crotched Mountain’s Mid Winter Arts Festival on Monday, February 10, 2014 in Carter Hall on Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center’s Greenfield campus. Also featured at the festival is a video presentation of photos taken by Crotched Mountain clients under the direction of artist-in-residence, Geoff Forester. The event is free and open to the public.

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