Percussionist Steve Scales, formerly with Talking Heads and many other artists, will perform a drum circle Thursday, Aug. 25 from 11 to 11:45 a.m. at St. Andrews Church, 283 Bridgeport Avenue, Milford, for clients of The Kennedy Center.
Scales is finishing a unique college internship as he pursues a Bachelor of Science in Human Services from The University of Bridgeport. Scales is completing a 100-hour practicum using his musical and drumming skills to connect with people with disabilities served by The Kennedy Center.
Throughout the summer, he has been organizing drum circles with 45 to 85 Kennedy Center consumers who participate in the rehabilitation agency’s Community Experience Programs. The Kennedy Center operates 31 Community Experience Programs, and 14 of these programs have participated in this learning activity.
Robin Allen, expressive arts facilitator at The Kennedy Center, has been organizing these well-attended drum circles.
“Our consumers love participating in the drum circles and bring all types of drums to play during the 45-minute session led by Steve,” she said. “Everyone looks forward to the drum circle and leaves this group experience energized, cheerful, and in an upbeat mood.”
Scales, added, “I love inspiring the Kennedy Center consumers with the interactive and fun sessions I have created. During these musical celebrations, the participants build communication skills, self-esteem and confidence.”
Recently, Scales has been volunteering his time with The Kennedy Center. This past January he headlined a children’s benefit for The Kennedy Center with a group of area musicians. Next year, he will be assembling other talented musicians for another concert.
“I appreciate all the good works of The Kennedy Center and know how to connect with all types of audiences, especially people with disabilities,” said Scales. “Music is truly a universal language.”
Located in various neighborhood settings, community experience programs support small groups of individuals with myriad abilities and disabilities. Each program emphasizes the development of an appropriate skill base to expand learning, choice-making and inclusion within each person’s local community.
“Each program provides functional skill development in an inclusive community setting,” said Martin D. Schwartz, president and CEO of The Kennedy Center. “The overall goal for all of the individualized services is to enable the consumer to be a successful, contributing member of their community. The Kennedy Center is fortunate to have a volunteer as talented as Steve Scales to help our consumers reach their greatest potential.”
The Kennedy Center, founded in 1951, is an internationally accredited, non-profit, community-based rehabilitation organization that currently serves 2,400 individuals annually. The Kennedy Center operates 16 group homes, an industries program composed of six businesses, supported and competitive employment and job placement services, a family support and respite service, travel training, and a variety of children’s programs. Visit www.thekennedycenterinc.org for more information.