About FAR Therapeutic Arts and Recreation

FAR uses the creative arts and recreational experiences as therapeutic tools to develop the potential of people with special needs as individuals, as teammates, as family members and as members of the larger community.

Our Vision

A world where individuals with disabilities can connect, contribute and flourish.

Our Mission

Enriching the lives of individuals with disabilities, regardless of age, through the power of creative arts and recreational therapies.

Our Core Values

FAR’s work is grounded in the fundamental belief that an essential part of being human is the need to socially relate to other human beings. Individuals with disabilities have this same need, but due to differences in physical, emotional, or psychological diagnoses, they face many challenges in satisfying the desire to communicate and connect with others. In carrying out its Mission, FAR embraces the following values:


We recognize and celebrate the potential of all people. This means valuing abilities, goals and learning. By expressing appreciation and positive feedback, we support and motivate increased competence and confidence. Empowered individuals have a sense of determination and purpose in their lives.


Empathy, kindness, understanding, and respect for all drive our day-to-day actions and are the heartbeat of what we do.


We are trustworthy, honest, and principled – behaving ethically, honoring privacy, and doing the right thing.


We practice unconditional acceptance through positive interactions with our clients, their families and care givers. We respect individuals for who they are. We embrace the belief that all people have value and the right to belong.



Founded in 1951, FAR is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization providing creative arts and recreational therapies to 1,400 members of our community with disabilities. FAR is not affiliated with any religious institution. However, it provides therapy at facilities that have been generously donated by other organizations, some of which are religious. Our offices are located at First Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, MI.

What Makes FAR Different

FAR offers a wide range of programming options drawing from the fields of art therapy, music therapy and recreational therapy in order to provide clients the approach that best meets their needs.

Unlike education on a particular subject, at FAR, the focus is less about the subject study, and more on the client’s development. In other words, at FAR, the subject of study is the means; achieving therapeutic results is the real goal. FAR’s therapists awaken our clients’ interests and skillfully nurture them to reach their full potential as individuals, as teammates, as family members and as members of the larger community.

This is also different than many more specialized traditional therapies, which focus on improving performance in one particular area (e.g., physical, occupational, speech, etc.). While such therapies are critically important—and many FAR clients participate in them as well—they are fundamentally different. FAR’s therapists harness the power of creative arts and recreation to nurture the development of the whole person to:


  • Overcome physical, intellectual and emotional barriers
  • Develop new skills
  • Establish and reinforce a pattern of success
  • Build self-esteem
  • Improve interpersonal relationships
  • Become part of a community
  • Discover the joy of self-expression

Many of our clients and their families and caregivers tell us they had all but given up until they found FAR.

Hear How FAR’s Therapies Have Transformed Lives