Celebration of performing arts transforms lives of adults with disabilities

Members of the Pyramid advanced chorus sing with excitement and joy. Pyramid is an art training program designed to help improve the quality of life for adults with disabilities. 

“I enjoy music more than anything,” said Karlee Hayes, a singer in the group. “Music is my favorite thing, always love it and probably always will.” 

The group is taking part in the first-ever performing arts celebration for those with disabilities. The event is put on to honor the 29th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Pyramid performing arts coordinator Bruce Larson says, "It’s a way for the greater public to see them for their abilities, not their disabilities, see them as a dancer, or a singer, or an actor, or painter rather than someone with a disability.” 

The show is called "Transformation.” Hillsborough County and the city of Tampa sponsor the performances at the Straz Center. 

“We have 10 different acts from across Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco counties that will be coming together to perform at this event,” said Straz employee Alice Santana. 

Karlee Hayes and her friends look forward to the celebration.

“It’s pretty much a good thing. I like performing in front of people. It doesn’t make me nervous at all,” Hayes said. 

Access and inclusion give those with disabilities a chance to share their creative talents.

The free show is Friday, June 23 at the Straz Center Riverwalk tent. 

LINK: For more information, visit www.strazcenter.org.