An anniversary message from our Founder
H’art started 20 years ago with the understanding that people with developmental disabilities from our community had more to give and that the Arts could be an incredible vehicle to encourage them to do just that.
Since then, thanks to the unfailing support of the community, our H’art School participants have helped more than 20,000 people change the way they see ability through exhibits, plays and performances; shared their stories and perspectives through 6 illustrated books that have traveled as far as Korea and Africa; and worked alongside nearly 2000 volunteers and placement students to help the next generation see the ability.
Along the way, the dream grew and started to impact other people. Over the years, H’art Centre:
- Created a fully accessible performing arts space called THE BOX so Kingston’s diverse population could create without financial, physical, or social barriers and received the City of Kingston’s 2012 International Day of Persons with Disabilities Access Award in the process.
- Opened the door to inclusive post-secondary education for people with developmental disabilities through a pilot project so parents, communities and post-secondary institutions would be encouraged to dream bigger.
- Brought nearly 60 professional artists with disabilities and leaders in the inclusive arts field from across Canada to Kingston to share their work and open the minds of school kids and educators, festival organizers and community leaders through our Able Artists program.
- Encouraged new groups such as PeerLess Productions and the Deaf Spirit Collective.
- Promoted mixed-ability performances such as a recent one with H’art and Kingston’s Melos Choir ––so we could reach new heights and have more fun.
- Ensured hundreds of seniors with disabilities living in long-term care homes can participate in the arts through our outreach initiative, the H’art Accessible Arts Program (HAAP!)
None of this would have been possible without your continued support and belief in H’art Centre through the years. I hope you will come celebrate with us when we present our new musical play, A Gift From Martadella, at the Isabel Bader Centre from April 20-21 and we share what’s coming next…. because we are just getting started and we have so much more to give.
Executive Director, H’art Centre