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© Photo by Renee Stewart Jackson

© Photo by Renee Stewart Jackson

 

Established in 1996, Creative Identity is a 501(c)(3) non-profit therapeutic music and expressive arts pre-vocational day program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The organization is based on the belief that music and expressive arts can promote positive change on all levels of human health, well-being, and development.  

Creative Identity began with George Gilliam, a music therapist and professional jazz guitarist who has an intellectual and developmental disability. Through hard-work and determination, the organization has evolved from a small expressive arts program into the pre-vocational day program that serves musically and artistically talented program participants. 

Up to 160 music and expressive arts classes are offered each week in string and percussion instruments, choir, ceramics, and painting. At least six weekends out of the year are dedicated to community experiences where students can sell their artwork and ceramic ware at local craft fairs or art exhibitions and showcase their talents, skills, musical, and artistic progress through paid and community service concerts. 

Creative Identity is operated in Anaheim, California with a sister program site located in Laguna Beach, California. Under the leadership of a 13-member board of directors and 11 dedicated staff members, Creative Identity continues to improve societal perceptions of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Through community integration program attendees, artists, and musicians can establish a common dialogue through music and expressive arts.