I Am More Than My Disability

On Friday, May 17th, 2019 Disability Community Resource Center, a non-profit in Venice, CA hosted I Am More Than My Disability in celebration of mental health awareness. The event included live poetry, performances, a resource fair, self-esteem boosting activities, and we contributed instruments to create an experiential drum circle for all attendees.

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Drum circle facilitator Jennifer Vallely shared the following reflections

“Inside the drum room, we created a rhythm extravaganza! Drums and percussion from around the world became the mode of self-expression for waves of participants. Metallic sounds, cymbal jingle, and chimes accented the air.

Before my eyes, drummers were listening to each other and creating rhythmic compositions, live! Facilitating a rhythm experience brings to life our need for connection. In the mostly non-verbal environment, people are seen and heard and acknowledged for who they are. The circle is a safe space for people to express themselves. It’s a space in which to practice the social and emotional skills which we need so dearly.

19-05-17-DCRC-7One visually impaired participant gripped snuggly the djembe between his legs and proceeded to drum his heart out! Another older gentleman explained that he had graduated from DCRC some years back. Then, he broke into a drum song; his raspy vocals filled the room. A woman dared to be brave and be seen and heard as she stepped into the circle and played call and response with 20 other participants. That’s huge!”

Learn more about Disability Community Resource Center here.