Plies and tippy toes. Tutus and tiny leotards. Giggles and poses in the mirror. A dance studio and art house to call their own. Our Johnny Stallings Arts Program encompasses these pastimes along with community performances, strong bonds of friendship and lasting memories. Merrimack Hall has journeyed down a long road since 2007 when the outreach first started with only nine students. As we wrap up 2011, the program now provides art, dance and musical theatre classes for 165 children and adults with developmental disabilities. For Merrimack Hall, the only way to venture is forward as we continue to grow in numbers and resources.
If you have ever made a purchase with Merrimack Hall, you probably received our holiday donation card in the mail. This year’s card features photos of some of our students and volunteers performing at last year’s holiday show. It also provides the opportunity to sponsor a student in the Johnny Stallings Arts Program.
The end result of all the support, donations, grants, volunteer efforts, community awareness, dance and art classes, expansion of the building, and so many more aspects of this performance hall – the backbone is to exist as a place to belong for those who have special needs. Merrimack Hall wants to be the niche place for Darby who has Down syndrome and fights cancer, for Elianna who has cerebral palsy and goes through painful surgeries, for Katie who has Down syndrome and diabetes, for the kids who are barely teenagers who have already experienced chemotherapy, strokes and surgeries. Merrimack is becoming a place where they can forget about everything and just dance and be creative.
If you would like to be a part of a child’s life in our Johnny Stallings Arts Program, please visit www.merrimackhall.com or call to receive a card in the mail - 256.534.6455.