Enabling the Arts: Kids with Dreams

Devoted to enhancing the lives of disabled children, Kids with Dreams orchestrates contact between Stanford students, local volunteers, and physically or mentally impaired youth.  Members of KWD guide children in the experience of art activities, including face painting, mural making, crafts, and cookie decorating.  Moreover, KWD offers a workshop called Special Dance, which aims to teach jazz, hip-hop, and ethnic dance forms to children with mental and physical disabilities in a comfortable and supportive environment. Shilpa Sethuraman, one of the Special Dance Coordinators, comments upon how “the Special Dance program showed me that dancing involves much more than perfecting and precisely executing choreography. Working with the children taught me that dance truly is an avenue of expression and provides an opportunity to connect with people from different backgrounds.” Currently, KWD is fundraising for the Magical Bridge, a community project aimed at building a Palo Alto playground that is safe and accessible for all children.

1997 ushered in a second community service organization, the Stanford Alliance for Service Through the Arts (SASTA).  Members of SASTA perform public service, medical healing, and arts education through their customized programs in music, dance, and visual arts. Similarly, Music4all, founded in 2004, erects a bridge between Stanford students and the local community through music.  Music4all participants perform at children’s hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and convalescent homes.

Featured image: Kids with Dreams poster for “Tapestry of Dreams” arts festival, 2002