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Written By: Mandie Kolkman, FWDC Artistic Director

Through several studies we have learned that we can turn to art for controlling emotions, managing pain, enhancing creativity, building fine motor skills, and so much more. Although there are numerous ways to participate in art activities, there are still those who aren’t sure how to reap the benefits that art provides. Art is thought provoking by nature, but art does not have to be complex. There are ways to sit, relax, and enjoy the arts: Exhibit A, Performance Art.

I may be more partial to performance art than most as I am a contemporary dancer and choreographer. I thoroughly enjoy the connection that I can make with my audience. There is something really special about the ability for someone to view my art in real time. It is an exchange of energy that is similar to a really compelling conversation. The best part? All the audience has to do is take in what they see. No expectations, no tests, and no physical demands. It is simple, yet effective. You may experience many of the same positive effects as yoga by viewing just one show!

Attending performance art has benefits beyond your mental health. By supporting your local artists, you are strengthening your community. For example, Fort Wayne Dance Collective collaborates with 12 schools/sites for children, 18 agencies/schools that serve people with disabilities, and 8 health care facilities and senior centers. Think of your favorite arts organization. What would your community look like without their creative presence?

Now you see that by attending live art performances you are much more than an occupied chair. You are doing something good for yourself and your community. You are supporting growth, education, and connectivity. So when making plans for your week or weekend, make it a priority to seek out opportunities to enjoy performance art. With so many options, there is truly something for everyone!

Interested in seeing a performance by Fort Wayne Dance Collective’s Touring Company and youth Pineapple Dance Project? Catch their performance Saturday, August 12th 7:30pm or Sunday, August 13th 2pm at IPFW’s Williams Theater.