Gesher Human Services' Skill Building Program provides opportunities for adults living with intellectual and developmental disabilities to learn new skills and develop themselves professionally with the hopes of one day gaining paid employment.
The Skill Building Program contracts with local non-profits to establish learning opportunities for Gesher participants. These are all unpaid volunteer opportunities, such as working in a community garden (which you can see on this Fox 2 news report, here) and are meant to eventually lead to paid positions within the Gesher Vocational Program.
The Creative Expressions Program at Gesher Human Services has partnered with The College for Creative Studies and The Detroit Symphony Orchestra to create opportunities for Skill Building Participants to learn and experience creative vocations within the arts. Below are some examples of Creative Expressions/Skill Building Programs.
The Skill Building Program began working with Creative Expressions in 2023. From January to March (Q1), they've participated in 3 programs, provided by 2 separate creative community partners (CCS and DSO). They've focused on the visual arts and music arts genres, and the programs have served a total of 12-15 people per/program, over 3 months. The participants attended 33 individual classes during that time
Participants from Gesher Human Services' Skill Building program meet once a week to create, perform, and practice making music at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Hall. The program is led by Creative Arts Therapies Inc, certified Music Therapist, Jody Conradi Stark and is attended by DSO Musicians who work directly with Gesher musicians to develop music for a later performance.
For more information about these programs, check out the following articles and interviews: