Performing Arts Fulfill A Special Need in Tobago

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MONDAY, 9 NOVEMBER 2015:  PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO – With three scheduled performing art programmes - ‘Music and Movement Are Magic’ at Happy Haven School; ‘A Gift of Song’ at the Tobago Technical Vocational School (TechVoc), and ‘Dance Yuh Dance’, held weekly at Gulf City Lowlands Mall- the Arts Alive REACH Project, launched in June 2015,  is already bringing “joy, confidence and self-esteem to our children and young adults in Tobago”, said Dr. Eastlyn McKenzie, Chair of the Arts Alive Association in Tobago.


Digicel Foundation’s Project Officer (Special Needs) Anjaana Downes was afforded the opportunity to visit all three programmes-  Music and Movement Are Magic on Monday, November 2 at Happy Haven School, Signal Hill;  Dance Yuh Dance at Gulf City Lowlands Mall from 6 to 9pm on Mondays and  Gift of Song on Tuesday, November 3  at Tobago Technical Vocational School, Lowlands- and check on their progress.


During her visit, Downes met with Anne-Marie Brimacombe, founder of Arts Alive and choreographer of the REACH project, who expressed her deep gratitude to the Digicel Foundation for their involvement with the programme and genuine excitement for being afforded the opportunity to work with various Tobago-based special needs organisations.


Brimacombe also noted that her fellow instructors, Courtney Potts (drumming tutor) and Christopher Sheppard (choreographer) were deeply affected by the programme and its participants, and are committed to imparting their knowledge and skills to the best of their ability.


“Working with persons with special needs is indeed a privilege and their passion for their craft is amazing and inspiring”, said Sheppard.


This innovative project benefits not only those with special needs, but also the Arts Alive performers who are given an opportunity to become positive mentors and grow in their own understanding and appreciation of persons with disabilities. “We receive a great response even from our audience members who feel connected to the participants in an atmosphere of encouragement, inclusion and acceptance”, said Dr. McKenzie.


Originally founded by Anne-Marie and Peter Brimacombe, the Arts Alive Association is now guided by a local, volunteer Board of Directors.  More information can be obtained by viewing its website: or by emailing

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Performing Arts Fulfill A Special Need in Tobago