April 2, 2020

Halloween for All!

The North's coolest Halloween party wants to include you
By Kristi Kates | Oct. 20, 2018

During Halloween week, you might see a dramatically-styled witch dancing with a knight in full armor; a head-to-toe pumpkin boogying along next to a cowgirl; or a crew of misfits from Alice in Wonderland enjoying some music and punch together.
But even more importantly, you might see some people with disabilities enjoying some fun seasonal festivities alongside non-disabled teens and adults at the Arts for All Halloween Party, an all-inclusive event happening in Traverse City.

Arts for All is an ambitious organization; they run a wide variety of programs both inside and outside of classrooms, with the aim of promoting accessibility in arts and culture in our region for people with disabilities.
“But not just them,” explained Arts for All Executive Director Grace Hudson. “We promote community inclusiveness forallpeople to do things together. One of the best things about our dances and other events is that non-disabled people get the chance to play and celebrate alongside people with disabilities – and learn from them – where they may not have had that opportunity otherwise.”

Five times a year, Arts for All host dances at the Elks Lodge in Traverse City (the Elks generously donate their space). And the Halloween bash might end up being the most impressive one of all, because these folks go all-out to put together a wide range of great Halloween costumes.
“These people do not let their disabilities limit them in the least,” Hudson said. “I’ve seen costumes at our Halloween dance surpass those at other costume contests I’ve seen; the Queen of Hearts and her crew from last year are just one group that spring to mind.”
“Sometimes, they even incorporate their wheelchairs right into their costumes; with some of these designs and how extensive they get, you often don’t even notice that they’reina wheelchair.”

This year’s dance costs $5 per person to attend — proceeds go to Arts for All.
Arts for all doesn’t provide transportation or personal care, but they do provide volunteer supervision, which Hudson pointed out is another great way to participate.
“We always need volunteers,” she said. “It’s neat when families attend together, you can bring your kids, and everyone can help out and have fun.”
Snacks and beverages are also included with your ticket, as is live music from DJ Mr. Music, who will be bringing plenty of pop tunes and his collection of dancefloor lighting.
“This is one of my favorite events to run,” Hudson added. “We get at least 100 people at each dance. For the Halloween one, I especially love seeing all of the costumes, and we’ll also do a big train/locomotion dance at some point, holding on to each other’s shoulders, which is always so much fun.”
The 2018 Arts for All Halloween Party will take place on October 25 from 6:30-8:30pm at the Elks Lodge, 625 Bay St., in Traverse City. For more information, visit www.artsforallnmi.org.


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