'Exceptional Family' Arts, Wellness Expo Slated at Better Farm Aug. 24

The Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP), in partnership with betterArts, will host its Exceptional Family Arts and Wellness Expo from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, at Better Farm in Redwood.

The event, free and open to the public, will feature artwork and performance pieces by children enrolled in EFMP—as well artwork by children living locally. Among the events slated for that day are a dance performance with Amy Earle School of Dance, upcycling projects, yoga exercises run by Lotus Blooms Yoga, a gallery showcase of artwork by local students, arts 'n' crafts, tours of Better Farm's gardens and buildings, and locally produced food fired up on the grill along with organic, locally grown side dishes ($5/plate).

Representatives from Northern Lights Chiropractic will additionally be on-site offering massages and information about that company's services. 

The EFMP works with other military and civilian agencies to provide services for family members with special needs, including:
  • Comprehensive and coordinated medical services
  • Educational needs
  • Housing needs
  • Community support services
  • Personnel services
The EFMP assists with the special physical, emotional, developmental, and intellectual needs by providing community support services such as resources, information and referral, advocacy, support groups, respite care and relocation assistance. An Exceptional Family Member (EFM) is defined as a dependent family member (child or adult) of an active duty soldier, who has a physical, emotional, developmental, behavioral, mental, or intellectual disorder requiring special treatment, therapy, education, training, or counseling on an on-going basis. Examples of EFMs include those with asthma, autism, ADD, diabetes, arthritis, depression, bipolar or schizophrenic symptoms, anxiety/phobias, panic disorders, learning disabilities, and those requiring special education services.

BetterArts has partnered with EFMP for this event in order to draw public attention to the creative genius of all children; and to increase public access to arts and culture in the North Country.

Families who would like their child to show art or participate in some way at this event (performances, readings, arts 'n' crafts enthusiasts, and more) are encouraged to contact Michelle at (315) 772-5488. 

The Family and MWR Exceptional Family Member Program helps provide support and required care for family members with disabilities and special needs, to better support the Soldiers and Family Members stationed at Fort Drum. For more information, click here. BetterArts increases access to programs like this and other arts and cultural opportunities throughout the North Country. To learn more about betterArts' mission and work, click here.

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.

Rotary Sponsors Free Workshops for Kids

Watertown Evening Rotary will sponsor two upcoming arts classes for children as part of a free summer workshop series put on by betterArts, Inc., in Redwood.

The two free workshops, “Mosaic Using Recycled Material” and “Belly Dance and Hip-Hop”, will be taught Saturday, Aug. 4.

Mosaic Using Recycled Material is for ages 5 and up. Held from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., students will learn the craft of Mosaic; the art form of creating image by collage and assemblage of unique and recycled bits and pieces. Students will learn basic skills and technique, gluing and grouting, and finishing a small mosaic piece on a wooden base utilizing recycled materials including stones, ceramics, shells, art glass, broken tile, mirrors, and beads. Materials will be provided, but students are welcome to bring any thing from home they would like to incorporate.

Belly Dance and Hip-Hop for Kids is for all ages and will be held from 2-5 p.m. on the same day. Kids will get a fun, healthy workout with two forms of dance they are sure to enjoy! Children can have fun learning basic belly-dancing moves while developing core strength and learning about American Tribal Belly dancing. In the hip-hop unit, students will learn the latest and greatest moves. This course is for all skill levels, and will include a thorough warm-up, proper stretching, and individual attention.

Pre-registration is required. Call (315) 482-2536 or e-mail info@betterarts.org to sign up.

BetterArts is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to increasing access to the arts throughout Redwood, N.Y. and surrounding areas through the provision of free and low-cost workshops, residencies, private instruction, studio and gallery space, performances, and events. All workshops are held at betterArts' location on Better Farm, 31060 Cottage Hill Road, Redwood. Click here for more information.