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ComMotion Builds Health & Engagement Through The Arts

At the beginning of March, Raleigh, NC group Community In Motion (ComMotion) visited the Outer Banks for a week-long residency through Dare Arts’ Power of Art program.


ComMotion is a nonprofit whose mission is to build community and improve well-being through adaptive and inclusive movement. They provide people of all walks of life the opportunity to engage in artistic pursuits that will stimulate the mind, body and soul. 

“Working with Dare Arts is the ideal example of partnership, collaboration, and a shared passion for serving the community,” said ComMotion Executive Director Robin McCall. “We were very happy that several of the groups remembered us from last year, and we loved getting to meet and work with a lot of new people across the community. Participants in the classes said it helped them to relax, gave them a positive outlook, improved their mood, and that it was a great workout. We loved that all of the groups asked when we were going to come back.” 


During the residency, ComMotion led five different free classes with groups from Gentle Expert Memorycare (GEM) Adult Day Services, Monarch Beach Club, Outer Banks Dementia Friendly Coalition (OBDFC), the Virginia S. Tillet’s Community Center, and the Baum Center’s Dare County Older Adult Services.

“ComMotion visited the Outer Banks Dementia Friendly Coalition's Caregivers' Day Out last Monday and Thursday,” said Outer Banks Dementia Friendly Coalition Executive Director Dianne Denny. “The energy was amazing! Adding music, stories and motion together to get your daily dose of exercise is brilliant! What a fun time!”


The Power of Art program gives underserved populations and people with disabilities and/or special needs the opportunity to participate in unique programming that is designed to give them a chance to create and express themselves through art. 

“This was our second time bringing ComMotion to the Outer Banks, and this partnership is the absolute essence of what we do through the Power of Art program,” said Dare Arts Executive Director Jessica Sands. “Through the Power of Art we advocate for our underserved populations, including older adults, those with dementia/cognitive decline, adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities, and those affected by long-term illness. I attended most of the ComMotion classes, and the participants were smiling, laughing and having so much fun. It was so wonderful to see our Power of Art participants experiencing this enriching arts program while connecting with their community.” 


Outside of the group classes, ComMotion hosted a Community In Motion Facilitator Training at Dare Arts. The entry-level course provided key insights into the relationship between health and engagement in the arts, and gave participants the tools to begin leading small group activities within the Outer Banks community. 


During downtown Manteo’s March First Friday festivities, ComMotion led an hour of social dancing in Dare Arts’ Courtyard, inviting community members to learn the cha-cha, salsa and other fun dances with them. 


The Power of Art program is made possible by a Community Benefits Grant from Outer Banks Health


This project was supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.


For more information about the Power of Art program, please visit or call (252) 473-5558. 


Dare Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization dedicated to encouraging the arts in Dare County through advocacy, enrichment and opportunity.


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