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Welcome to Creative Identity

Founder George Gilliam with lily emblem

By Staff reporter, 2011-04-22
Creative Identity is a music therapy and vocational arts site-based day program that serves adults, age 18+, with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Anaheim, CA. They operate under the principle that all individuals innately possess talents and skills that serve as powerful vehicles for self-exploration and empowerment.

In 1996, Creative Identity located in Anaheim,CA, was founded by George Gilliam, a Registered Music Therapist. Creative Identity is a music therapy and expressive arts site-based day program that currently serves 34 adults with developmental disabilities.

The program has assisted musicians and artists create and showcase their talents for the past 14 years. Creative Identity has enriched the neighborhood and the local arts scene in numerous ways by providing an accepting and nurturing community where musicians and artists establish a dialogue with the rest of the world using the arts as a means to transcend boundaries and engage others eloquently and equally. Via the Creativity Travels program, a mobile music therapy service, music therapy interventions are extended to clients in various group homes in Orange County, CA.

2009 saw the inception of the Pride Band, which is comprised of Creative Identityís selected musicians and singers, who perform professionally in the community. The exceptionally talented musicians and singers of the Pride Band are individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down syndrome, and other developmental disabilities. Several members of the Pride Band are regarded as musical savants, whose musical gifts often surpass the capabilities of professional musicians.

Their talents are demonstrated by the breadth of the Pride Bandís ambitious, sophisticated repertoire, which includes R & B classics (Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind, and Fire), contemporary jazz, classical music, gospel, show tunes, oldies, and top 40 favorites.

Given the programís strong emphasis on musical performances, The Creative Identity Choir has performed at such prestigious venues as the Very Special Arts Festival, A Light in the Window, and the Japan-U.S. Harmonic Concert. Recognized as a community leader, Creative Identity was the recipient of the prestigious Disneyland Resort's Community Service Award. Executive Director George Gilliam was a 2007 and 2008 nominee for the Regional Center of Orange Countyís Spotlight Award, honoring the outstanding achievements and extraordinary service of people dedicated to improving the lives of people with developmental disabilities in Orange County.

Offering a 4:1 client to staff ratio, our musicians and artists receive personalized attention in a music and arts based curriculum. Creative Identity's clients participate in a wide variety of music and arts experiences focused on maximizing oneís potential by addressing individual goals and objectives, as determined by staff therapists and Regional Center of Orange County caseworkers.

In addition to the visual arts classes that are offered on a daily basis, including painting, ceramics, drawing, photography, video arts, and silk painting, the clients participate in comprehensive array of music therapy services including the Creative Identity Choir, music ensembles, individual and group lessons (voice, piano, guitar, bass, percussion, and dulcimer), songwriting, improvisation, musical theatre, music theory, recording, and music history. Also, clients have opportunities to perform on evenings and weekends as part of the programís community service component, presenting concerts at veteransí hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, senior centers, and convalescent homes.

Additionally, the facility offers training in life skills, exercise, nutrition, dance, computer skills, gardening, theater, language arts, crafts, spoken word, and academic skills. Creative Identity offers the Art Works entrepreneural program, where clients earn commissions from the sale of their art and ceramic works at local craft fairs and receive practical education in interacting with the public through representing their art and making transactions with supervision and coaching. The therapeutic application of music and expressive arts can translate into a positive influence on a wide range of aspects of a client's life, including self-expression, coping and social skills, cognitive skills, and pre-vocational experience.

The organizationís objective is to target skills that will lead each individual to their highest level of independence and self-advocacy by achieving a more active presence within the community.



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