Signs of Hope from the Shortbus Studio Artists

Shortbus Studio is no traditional isolated and boring sheltered workshop. In fact, the day program located in Burnsville, NC has become the model for inclusive programs where outdoor adventure, volunteering and the arts are used to build collaborations and everyday relationships between people with disabilities and their communities. At Shortbus Studio, participants create art, volunteer, make short films, do extreme sports, and just generally have a whole lot of fun while making meaningful contributions to society.

Shortbus Studio strives to make artistic and adventurous experiences accessible to everyone by providing opportunities for individuals to express themselves creatively and to become engaged in their community. Inclusive and adaptive activities enhance personal and social skills, encourage respect for the environment, and ultimately help folks who are differently abled to understand their place within the human race and on planet earth. People in the larger community come to see for themselves that individuals with disabilities are much more alike than different from them.

The reality is that there are many, many individuals in our region who don’t have the opportunity to express themselves creatively, who are not engaged in their communities, and who do not have the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to society. These people may feel isolated and lonely. They may be attending segregated workshops where they are confined in one space all day, sitting at tables doing repetitive piece work for which they are paid very little. You can do something about this by helping Shortbus Studio continue to be an inspiration and model for other day programs.