We championed public understanding of the abilities and potential of people with special needs and sought legal protections through the 1954 Michigan Special Education Act. In the ‘70s, we began to focus on client self-development through participation in a structured therapeutic and performing arts program, and after the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) passed in 1990, further refined our programming to complement the public school curriculum. Professional therapists helped redefine FAR’s purpose, emphasizing individual enrichment through the customized application of arts, recreation, and life skills. It would no longer be about learning to dance – but about learning essential life skills through dance.
In 2000, FAR staged its first fundraiser showcasing its clients’ talents and new-found confidence as they performed with their therapists. This became an annual event, much loved by our clients and community of FAR supporters.