Disability Communities

COMPAS teaching artists can help you offer art classes and arts education for adults and children living with physical disabilities, intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD), and persistent mental health concerns. We’ve delivered arts programs in care communities, care homes, day programs, day support centers, and many other contexts.

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A group of young adults with developmental disabilities dance joyously at an event.

Artistic Expression for Everyone

At COMPAS, we believe in the transformative power of the arts to empower individuals of all abilities. Artistic expression stimulates the mind and strengthens our connection with ourselves and others, allowing us to tap into our deepest thoughts and emotions.

Our dedicated teaching artists create inclusive spaces where everyone can explore their creativity. We provide diverse artistic experiences through captivating performances, interactive workshops, and immersive residencies.

Ready to enrich your community with COMPAS? Contact us to discuss your ideas, explore our Artist Directory, or book now. We aim to customize programming to your community.

Find Inspiration: Examples of Past Programming for People Living with Disabilities

These are examples of the possibilities that come from creating inclusive art experiences with COMPAS. Our artists are motivated, experienced, and socially engaged.

In 2018, COMPAS collaborated with Ally People Solutions and Partnership Resources Inc. to provide meaningful artistic experiences to individuals with disabilities. Guided by teaching artists Anne Krocak, Katrina Knutson, Malia Burkhart, Mica Lee Anders, mick laBriola, and Zoë Bird, participants embarked on a journey of self-expression, culminating in a beautiful celebration at Mia (Minneapolis Institute of Art).

A man in a wheelchair poses with an art booklet he made with his teaching artist.

In 2019, Avivo and COMPAS partnered to create Breaking Barriers through the Arts, a sampler series held at three drop-in centers serving Hennepin County residents with serious and persistent mental illness. Teaching Artists Shakun Maheshwari, Nirmala Rajasekar, Katrina Knutson, Mica Lee Anders, and more facilitated workshops that brought out confidence and skills among a community looking to expand and strengthen their art programming for participants. The project culminated with a celebratory exhibition at Hennepin County Library-Central. In 2020, through another partnership, COMPAS Teaching Artist Katrina Knutson worked with 30+ participants to create an outdoor mural at Avivo’s headquarters in Minneapolis.

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COMPAS is an arts education nonprofit that puts creativity in the hands of Minnesotans, regardless of their age, background, or skills. Based in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area, COMPAS teaching artists deliver creative experiences and arts programming across Minnesota.

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This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.