From June 23rd-June 30th, The Miracle Project and Artists and Scientists as Partners (ASaP) of Brown University, in partnership with The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and Music School, Bailey’s Team, and Community Autism Resources (CAR) hosted a summer camp for more than 25 children, youth and adults on the autism spectrum and their typically developing siblings and peers.
In April, the DAPpers were invited to perform in the final dance concert of the academic year, the Commencement Dance Concert. The performance would include DAPpers, Brown Dance Extension, Central Falls High School dancers and dancers from Dancing Legacy, ADLI’s professional company. Typically, once the March lec/dem is over, we set aside the etude we’ve worked on for the last 3 months and begin focusing on new material. The invitation to perform motivated us to continue to rehearse the etude.
In previous studies conducted by Dr. Michael J. Hove PhD, evidence was found to support the idea that the bass frequency of music is connected to the movement timing of dancers, the movement induction of listeners as well as the quality of timing cues. This spring, a new study was conducted with participants from the DAPpers class in order to determine whether these findings have any clinical benefits for those who use dance as a method of relief from the symptoms associated with neurodegenerative movement disorders. Specifically, we investigated whether songs with more bass promote movement in patients with Parkinson’s disease more than songs with less bass.
Two weeks following our ASaP Symposium, American Dance Legacy Initiative (ADLI) held it’s annual mini fest. In addition to performing the Battleworks etude in the lec/dem, our dancers took part in a workshop exploring new territory for everyone.
On Saturday March 11, 2017, Rachel (Balaban) and Julie (Strandberg) presented a panel discussion with Celeste Miller of Grinnell College called The Undeniability of the Body: The Role of Dance with Both Patients and Medical Practitioners. The program at Grinnell focuses on working with medical students, while Artists and Scientists as Partners (ASaP) trains undergraduates to work with persons with Parkinson’s disease and Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Our 5th annual ASaP Symposium focused on intergenerativity and the power of uniting people across the generations to inspire community, conversation and creativity. We were fortunate to have Dr. Peter Whitehouse as our keynote speaker. A Brown graduate and expert in the field of gerontology and intergenerativity (he coined the word), Peter donned his tree hat and t-shirt and explored our interelatedness through art, humanities, science, health and society.
ASaP went to Harvard in late February to tell its story and highlight the need for arts education for medical practitioners as a way to help them navigate in the face of ambiguity and uncertainty. Dr. Jay Baruch joined Rachel Balaban and Julie Strandberg for a presentation to an audience of 75 to address questions like why should physicians be taught to think like "science-using" artists and what happens when physicians and artists work together as partners to improve the health of patients?
From February 3rd-5th 2017, The Miracle Project and Artists and Scientists as Partners (ASaP) of Brown University sponsored a national Training and Certification Program based on Elaine Hall’s “Seven Keys to Unlock Autism: Making Miracles in the Classroom.” Over 25 people attended including educators, artists, and therapists.
Our ASaP spring semester was a busy one. It started with our annual ASaP Symposium, with the theme of Arts Programming in Health-Designing the Next Steps including guests Dr. Sara Houston, David Leventhal, Dr. Barry Prizant, Dr. Colleen Cavanaugh, Jane Hesser and Deanna Camputaro. The day included workshops, a lec-dem and discussion groups, ending with a design workshop led by student/TA Miranda Olson. The design workshop provided attendees with inspiring ways to put their ideas into action.