Compass Institute enables people with disability to unleash creativity

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Everyone is born with the intrinsic desire to express themselves. Creative media carries an incredible power in allowing individuals to access this self-expression. Through art forms, you can discover outlets that develop hope, improve mental health, relieve stress, and enhance empathy.

Compass Institute Inc. is working hard to support young adults with intellectual and/or physical disability achieve this desire. One of their social enterprises, Farm Art, is dedicated to creating a space where people with disability can unlock their creativity and passion. EPIC Assist (EPIC) is excited to award Compass Institute a community grant to help support this creative journey towards improving the lives of people with disability.

Located at Palmwoods on the Sunshine Coast, Farm Art is one of Compass Institute’s many creative programs and enterprises. Lisa Bathersby, the Development Coordinator at Compass Institute, says that Farm Art is a valuable platform in enabling young people with disability to unleash their potential.

“Farm Art is a quiet space for our trainees and also works as an outlet where they can let their creativity flow,” says Lisa.

“The trainees spend their time working with a number of mediums including drawing, painting, mosaics, silk screen printing, beading, sewing, and sculptures.”

Lisa says it has been incredible to watch the Farm Art trainees not only grow, but thrive in the program.

“We have some amazing artwork that is created and each trainee has their own individual style,” says Lisa.

What makes Farm Art so special, is that it shares the artwork and immerses the trainees in the community. All of the artwork is sold at Compass Institute’s Wabi Sabi retail outlets and then reinvested back into the program. Through this enterprise, the program strives to bring to light the creativity of people with disability and create a culture without restrictions and discrimination.

“Farm Art endeavours to contribute to the personal outcome of our trainees by increasing self-esteem, social networks, and a sense of belonging. Within the community, Farm Art reduces the stigma of young people living with a disability and increases inclusion and diversity,” says Lisa.

Check out the Compass Institute Inc. website for more information on this program, and the EPIC Assist website to see the full list of community grant recipients.