Arts Umbrella is a Vancouver institution whose donors, volunteers, and sponsors all share the same core belief: that arts education can transform a child’s life. They’re all about inspiring creativity for good through the arts. They shared the following touching story with us about one of their students whose life was changed for the better by his experience at Arts Umbrella.
Theatre can truly transform a child’s self esteem
When Katy Geh enrolled her three children at Arts Umbrella South Surrey, she wanted them to experience the arts as her family did. But what she didn’t expect, was that a drama class would make such a wide-reaching impact on her son’s young life.
Dominic, age 7, took his first theatre class, Confidence Through Drama, with Michael Strickland. Katy recalls that for the first time since beginning school and extra-curricular activities, her son’s face lit up.
“There was a twinkle in his eye and a sparkle in his smile,” remarks Katy. “There were no lines, well maybe a few. Dominic could just act. He was so happy.”
To see a child thriving is a special moment for any parent. And for the Geh family, this had been a long journey, as Dominic has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
“The biggest challenge for Dominic is focus,” says Katy. “Your brain is firing in so many different ways. There’s one thing over here, one thing over there. You can’t focus on one thing. The fact that he can do this class is a miracle.”
Katy recalls how Dominic had taken drawing classes elsewhere, but wasn’t able to access the needed focus to succeed in the program. “I had to cancel classes because of conflict with other kids.”
With Arts Umbrella, and the Confidence Through Drama class, “Dominic has been able to find his focus. He has found something he’s good at and enjoys, but he can respect other people doing it. It’s been a real breakthrough.”
One of the important pillars of Arts Umbrella’s Theatre & Music program is respect.
Learn respect for yourself, learning respect for each other, and learning respect for the environment. Students are encouraged to treat themselves and others in a supportive manner. It’s a simple practice but one that resonates powerfully.
“Dominic has found his outlet in drama class to work in a safe, fun, and creative environment.”
Check out Arts Umbrella’s website for their range of incredible arts classes for kids artsumbrella.com
This post is sponsored by Arts Umbrella
Arts Umbrella believes that art is for everyone. As a not-for-profit arts education centre, they think access to the highest quality arts education is a basic human right, regardless of your experience, education, socio-economic background or ballet slipper size. Their classes are for children ages 2 to 19.
Heather Maxwell Hall is a Vancouver-born-and-raised writer and journalism school grad who loves the arts, her little family, and the Pacific Northwest. She cultivates good vibes by going on long walks, taking pictures, and discovering new things.