The Milliken Auditorium stage came alive before an audience of 200 at the first ever “Arts of All” Benefit Celebration on May 7 in the Dennos Museum Center. Artists Creating Together/ ACT – Grand Traverse hosted professional entertainers who performed with community artists with and without disabilities. Singers, dancers, actors, story-tellers, musicians, comedians along with wheelchair art comprised the eclectic arts program.

Travis Hall performs with pianist, David Chown at Act's Celebration Benefit.  Photo by Wendy Nienhouse
Travis Hall performs with pianist, David Chown at Act’s Celebration Benefit. Photo by Wendy Nienhouse

Highlighting the evening’s program were Judy Harrison and her Rebooted singers who performed two selections, followed by a country waltz tune featuring dancers Max Dingeman, former ACT-GT Swingshift and the Stars charity dance winner, and his partner, Emily Scott.   Professional pianist, David Chown, added his talents to the line-up on piano, accompanying ACT vocalist, Travis Hall.

ACT teaching artist, Denni-Don Hunting, directed the drama presentation “Celebrity Get Together,” featuring acting and singing by students from Central Grade School.
Receiving a standing ovation was the brother team of exceptional pianists, Brandon and Elliott Tyson.

“It was night to remember for everyone who attended,” said ACT regional director, Dayna Ryan. “We walked the walk and lived our mission of providing adaptive art experience and cultural opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome and the response from attendees and our ACT family and important community supporters.”

Next on the planning agenda for the nonprofit organization is Special Kids Day at the National Cherry Festival in July.

ACT–Grand Traverse helps more than 2,500 individuals with disabilities in the five-county region celebrate, succeed and grow with art. Plans for a second collaborative arts performance are already underway for 2015. All proceeds raised at the event will help provide programming for children and adults with disabilities in northern Michigan.

Knock-knock jokes by Lewie Hermel drew laughs from the audience with helpers Taylor Town (left) and emcee Eva Nienhouse.
Knock-knock jokes by Lewie Hermel drew laughs from the audience with helpers Taylor Town (left) and emcee Eva Nienhouse.
Judy Harrison sang three selections, including a country waltz for ACT dancers Max Dingeman and Emily Scott.
Judy Harrison sang three selections, including a country waltz for ACT dancers Max Dingeman and Emily Scott.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.