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

02/06/2013 10:34 AM

BATON ROUGE – Families Helping Families of Greater Baton Rouge, or FHFGBR, has teamed up with the LSU Performing Arts Academy to bring a new arts education program to the Baton Rouge community, offering programs specifically designed to include individuals with special needs.


The first program in the series, a music class called “Rhythmataz! Inclusive Music for Teens,” begins on Tuesday, Feb. 26, and targets teens and young adults ages 13 and older. Funded in part by a grant from the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, the program will also offer scholarships to students who are unable to pay the course fee.


“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 FHFGBR Executive Director Jamie Tindle. “This partnership with LSU is a tremendous opportunity to explore not just the arts but also the atmosphere of being on a college campus.”
Blake Wilson, the Performing Arts Academy director, is similarly effusive.


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


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, but will gain all of the benefits of experiential learning: increased communication, better self-confidence and improved social skills. Mary Malloy, the program’s instructor, notes, “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.”


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.”


“Rhythmataz! Inclusive Music for Teens” will be hold classes Tuesdays from 5:30-6:30 p.m. between Feb. 26 and April 30. All classes will meet in the LSU Music & Dramatic Arts Building. Tuition for the program is $150, with need-based financial assistance available. Those wishing to register can do so by visiting the Performing Arts Academy website at Deadline for online registration is Friday, Feb.19. After that date, prospective students may contact 225-578-3230 or email


About Families Helping Families of Greater Baton Rouge:

FHFGBR 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. More information is available at


About LSU Performing Arts Academy:

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, including classes and private music lessons for all ages.

Aaron  Looney 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Wednesday, February 6, 2013