LSU Performing Arts Academy, Families Helping Families Launch New Partnership for Arts Education Programming

09/18/2012 02:51 PM

BATON ROUGE – Families Helping Families of Greater Baton Rougehas teamed up with the LSU Performing Arts Academy to offer a new series of arts education programs to the Baton Rouge community specifically designed to include individuals with special needs.


The first program of the series, a music class called “Rhythmataz! Inclusive Music for Teens,” begins on Tuesday, Oct. 2, and targets teens ages 13-18. The class will meet in the Music & Dramatic Arts Building, located on Dalrymple Drive.


“There aren’t a lot of programs for this age group that offer the opportunity for them to discover their gifts and talents in the world of the arts,” said Jamie Tindle, executive director of Families Helping Families. “This partnership with LSU is a tremendous opportunity to explore not just the arts, but also the atmosphere of being on a college campus.”


Families Helping Families of Greater Baton Rouge is a non-profit, family directed resource center for individuals with disabilities and their families. It is a place where families can go that is directed and staffed by parents or family members of children with disabilities or adults with disabilities. It is this common experience that gives Families Helping Families a very unique approach to serving families. Families Helping Families staff can answer questions and provide technical assistance for any disability, any age. For more information, visit


“It’s really a natural extension of what we do, creating opportunities for people from across our community to participate in the arts,” said Blake Wilson, director of the LSU Performing Arts Academy. “No matter what your background is, access to the arts is really a quality of life issue.”


The LSU Performing Arts Academy is a community school of the arts and is a division of LSU’s College of Music & Dramatic Arts. The academy offers pre-college and community programs in the performing arts for members of the public, as well as classes and private music lessons for all ages. 


After this initial program, the two organizations plan to expand the program to include other performing arts disciplines such as theatre or dance.


Participants in the program will not only learn about music and the performing arts, they will gain all of the benefits of experiential learning – increased communication, better self-confidence and improved social skills.


“What excites me about this is the idea of bringing people with a variety of needs and backgrounds together to help them find a meaningful musical experience that is uniquely theirs,” said program instructor Mary Malloy.”


In discussing the program, Malloy cited a quote from noted musician, Kalani: “You can't put music into people, but you can help to bring it out.”


Tuition for the 10-week program is $150. Classes will be held on Tuesdays from Oct. 2 through Dec. 4, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. each evening.


Those interested can register online at Deadline for online registration is Friday, Sept. 28. After that, prospective students may contact 225-578-3230 or email to register.


For more information, contact Wilson at 225-578-3531 or contact Tindle at 225-216-7474.






Contact Aaron Looney
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Tuesday, September 18, 2012