Thursday, September 15, 2011

Gallery Provides Creative Outlet and Opportunity to Develop Life Skills

LEE, Mass. -- The folks behind the Lee campus of the College Internship Program are used to keeping a low profile, for their organization as well as their students -- young adults age 18 to 26 who are diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome or other "learning differences."
With the launch this summer of a gallery and cafe at a prominent storefront on Main Street, coupled with the ongoing soft opening of a performance space in a nearby converted church, the program now is embracing a more public profile.
"For 28 years we were on little side streets, and people would see the young adults in town, and there was always mystery surrounding who they were, what they were doing," said Francine Britton, leader of the CIP’s associated foundation and director of the newly opened Good Purpose Gallery. "We’re all in a little bit of culture shock because we went from being down side streets on second and third floors of buildings to being very public."
The layout of the new enterprise reflects this attitude of openness, itself an outgrowth of CIP’s efforts to integrate its students into the community for the purpose of helping them increase their social acumen and build other life skills.

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