The Arts

The Arts are important at Adora.  Just to see a learner’s face light up with enthusiasm in that “ah-hah” moment when he discovers that he really can draw, write, or create is incredible. The arts are most often included in the learning and projects that learners complete for their ILP.  Many are moved to tears saying “I had absolutely no idea that I was able do that!” It is truly empowering for the learner.


Drama is a way for learners to step into the shoes of another.  As they study their characters and seek to become that new person on stage, they get to walk in the shoes of another.  They have the opportunity to learn empathy, the results of positive and negative interactions, and how to present a character on stage. Learning to tell other peoples’ stories can help the learner find their voice to tell their own story.


  • In the drawing class we practice really seeing.
  • We must use our left and right brain to accurately portray our subject.
  • In the process of creating, learners learn about themselves.
  • Success replaces past failures and a sense of accomplishment overcomes frustration.
  • Learning to wrestle with the demons that tell us we are not good enough, persevering through setbacks, and solving problems to complete a project, brings a high level of satisfaction.

Spoken Word Poetry

Spoken word poetry is a powerful tool we use to help learners find their own voice.  Poetry is a way to express feelings in a much less intimidating way.  Below are poems that learners have written and performed.  They are used with the permission of each learner.

Lead Ropes

By Nik Rasmussen

The terror that enveloped me when I started to ride a 900 lb. animal
was lightened by understanding.
An understanding called
A relationship that persists over rocky trails
and through level pastures
with this animal capable of
biting, bucking
rearing, veering
and crushing every bone in my body.
How can they trust me?
An imperfect person,
to build up what never was between us.
A relationship
I’ve counted the times I’ve fallen,
only to stick my feet into the stirrups once more.
Through these trials
a rope leads from my heart to theirs.
Where I go, they go
What I think, they think
What I feel, they feel also.
A mirror to my thoughts,
A mirror to my soul.
I’m free to be me,
to pour all my heart and energy into
the cascade of adventures a horse provides.
In such a relationship, control must be given up.
There is no way to be perfect,
There are only ways to learn.
Mistakes are welcome
and not always seldom.
I’ve learned more life lessons while riding than anywhere else.
A horse is a manual to life.
How I treat them is how I treat people.
I cannot feel freer
than when I’m exploring the corridors
of horses hearts and minds.
Riding is an adventure in itself,
think of the relationship,
and passion involved with horses.
That is a very big adventure, indeed.

Stick Together

By Isabel Prutow
you are my gorilla glue
you knew me through and through
now that you are gone I don’t know what to do
you are what held me together
oh what will I do without you
people such as you
there are precious few
you kept me in line
you know well what I’ve been through
and now I don’t know what to do
without my precious gorilla glue.

Inside-out, Write-side-up

By Donovan Harrod

When I first came here, I was like,
“What the Heck?”
This place will make me feel less alone?
But not two weeks into my stay,
I exploded.
I lost all my stuff
From door to clothes
And I had to learn to earn it all back.
I ended up writing on the floor
Because I would not explore
all my emotions.
I only felt anger and despair because they were safer to feel
But now I am glad to say I can be happy
and more people will like me
because I am more real.
It’s not easy, I can tell you that.
And guess what?!
I’m still learning.
I got a lot more to do than sulk in a corner.
Life isn’t just about that.
Life can be fun if you play it right,
It doesn’t have to be all that bad.
But there will still be tough times,
I can’t stop that,
But they can still end up all right.