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Performing arts class for adults with disabilities opens doors in rural community

Posted at 5:25 AM, Oct 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-04 12:06:52-04

WHITE BLUFF, Tenn. (WTVF) — Finding extracurricular activities for adults with disabilities is especially challenging in rural communities.

"Out here in the country, there is not a lot of programs for our folks to participate in, " said Julie Ferrell of Dickson.

Fortunately, last year, Ferrell learned about Indicator Art from the Tennessee Disability Council.

At the time, the class was only offered in Nashville. Ferrell met with the director, Debby Throckmorton, who went on to bring the workshop to Dickson County.

"The more you do acting, singing, the more your confidence rises," said Throckmorton about the mission behind the program.

Throckmorton leads the classes in White Bluff and Nashville. The workshops run six weeks. Each class gives adults with developmental disabilities a chance to explore the arts.

Throckmorton's sister with down syndrome, Misty, was her first student.

"Now she gets on stage and you can't take the mic away from her!" Throckmorton said.

The White Bluff class had five students when it started. Now, the enrollment is more than 30 and there is a wait list.

"It is truly magical," Throckmorton said.

At the end of the classes, all the students can perform in a variety show. Ferrell's daughter Heather plans to sing a Patty Loveless song.

"You see people you would never think would get up and perform and they actually do it," Ferrell said.

There are two free performances happening in October. The first is October 25 at Bibb White Bluff Civic Center. The second is in Nashville on October 28 at Douglas Corner Café.

The club costs $175 per student and financial aid is available. Click here to learn how to sign up.

If you want to make a donation to Indicator Art you can connect your Kroger Rewards card to the organization.