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Want to know more?

Michiana Performing And Adaptive Arts Community (MPAAAC) believes in helping students of ANY ability find their performance and artistic expressions through traditional and adaptive means. MPAAAC believes in the power of artist and community working together. Our special needs community are critically underrepresented in the performing arts: identifying this, MPAAAC’s mission is to build an inclusive performing arts school in the greater South Bend area that caters to any performer’s ability.

MPAAAC expands upon the work of Ms. Jetta Cruse, who has taught music and performing arts classes for the past 8 years. Prior to that, she created the ever-popular performing arts group Jetta and the Jellybeans (JJB). During the 18 years of performance with JJB, she met many children and adults with differing abilities who wanted to perform on stage with her. Witnessing the joy it brought them when she asked them to join her on stage, Ms. Jetta soon realized that she had a longing to help bring performance arts to the special needs community.

While performance and art education are the goals, Ms. Jetta believes in relationship-based education where the emphasis is on teaching the person, allowing interest in the subject to follow. She has seen firsthand the benefits that artistic expression has brought her students. Personal development while learning a skill makes this a more therapeutic form of music instruction.

Regardless of ability, Ms. Jetta knows how to connect students with their own gifts, passions and goals. She regularly witnesses how performance art connects people to their hearts’ desires. She notes, “It’s a powerful force that isn’t easily explained; I just know it works! The magic really happens when I see students’ faces light up because they’ve been able to express themselves through their performances and people paid attention to them in a positive way.”




 

MPAAAC’s goal is to integrate the special needs community with the main stream populous, not to create another silo of services, proving that this community can learn, play and perform music together. Classes are open to people of all abilities. Adaptive devices for students who need an alternate way to play an instrument or dance are explored: we find, or make, a way to help our students express themselves to the best of their abilities. Students not requiring adaptation learn alongside those who do.




In 2009, Ms. Jetta started performance workshops at Hannah and Friends*. Eventually she became the Program Director, running community based social, art and basic life-skills programs. It was then that Ms. Jetta identified the huge need in the arts community to welcome students and performance artists of all abilities. Ms. Jetta started a series of performance-based adaptive music classes, launching the idea of the performing arts school.

Ms. Jetta’s enthusiasm for her newfound mission encouraged her to post videos and photos of her students in action. This got the attention of other area musicians and performance artists. Before she knew it, Ms. Jetta launched a movement to expand the performing arts and integrate the neuro-typical with the special needs populations.


* Hannah & Friends is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for children and adults with special needs.
On November 14, 2017, a group of twenty-five community members gathered and committed to incorporating Michiana Performing and Adaptive Arts Community, a 501 (c)(3) organization resolved to providing performing arts education for students of all abilities.

December 14, 2017, marks the official launch of our school as well as our capital campaign to raise $150,000 for the initial startup expenses. We are happy and humbled to have so much support in raising these funds. We are so grateful to all who believe in this mission and want to partner with us to see it succeed.
Today, Ms. Jetta has 55 students, with many more on a waiting list, in four music and dance programs. Imagine what we can do with more class offerings, more instructors, advertising and a dedicated space! MAKE AN IMPACT: help us build this school!

Phone: 574-229-3816
E-Mail: MPAAdaptiveArts@gmail.com


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