Even as the arts have taken on a new shape in the virtual world, they have remained very much alive at LIFE.
The Hyannis Limelighters have grown in their ability and confidence as solo artists, says LIFE case manager and service coordinator Susanne Norman. The performance group was formed shortly after Norman discovered the Cape Cod Collaborative Arts Network (CapeCodCAN) — a program of the Cotuit Center for the Arts, dedicated to inclusive arts, music and theater for people with disabilities.
“We started out with eight Hyannis residents participating in their spring show in 2018,” she said. “The interest grew and grew and we’re up to a steady group of 13. They’ve built an incredible sense of teamwork and have learned great lessons in taking risks.”
When the pandemic hit, the Limelighters pivoted to Zoom and put on three virtual shows of their own in 2020 and 2021. Since September, they have been able to get back on stage with CapeCodCAN. Norman, who earned her degree in drama at Tufts University, says her work at LIFE has been enriched by the addition of a community arts program.
“It’s been much more meaningful than trying to make it on Broadway,” she said.
Norman got into the field of human services after her own daughter, now 40, was born with special needs. “I’m in this line of work because of her, but I think I’m able to apply my experiences and understanding of the stressors parents face,” she said.
She has been at LIFE since 2014, working with individuals in the supported independent living community in Hyannis.
“What stood out about LIFE is that residents work and engage in the community,” said Norman. “I’ve had several residents coming right out of school at 22 and now they’re approaching 30, blossoming and becoming so much more independent.”
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Call to schedule a tour: 508.790.3600
Main office: LIFE, Inc., 550 Lincoln Road Extension, Hyannis, MA 02601
Living Independently Forever, Inc. is a non-profit with multiple locations throughout Southeast Massachusetts supporting adults with autism, learning disabilities, and intellectual disabilities in their pursuit of a happy, independent life.