Maddie Berry after performing in 2021’s Frame of Mind.
Maddie Berry after performing in 2021’s Frame of Mind. (JVS+Kadima)

The event is offering a one-of-a-kind theatrical immersive evening with singing, music, dance, acting and art.

Maddie Berry loves to sing and has been performing for her family for as long as she can remember. Recently she got an opportunity she never thought would have been possible: vocal training with professionals at the Detroit Opera. “It has been a dream come true. They taught me about breathing work and how to sing from the diaphragm and I have really improved,” said Berry, 23, from Clawson. 

Now, Berry will be performing at the third annual JVS + Kadima Frame of Mind Benefit and Arts Showcase, which will be held on May 15 from 5-8 p.m. at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. 

The event is offering a one-of-a-kind theatrical immersive evening with singing, music, dance, acting and art. It will showcase the many talents of artists and performers, like Berry, who take part in Creative Expressions, an artistic enrichment program run by JVS + Kadima, in conjunction with performances by professional musicians, singers and actors with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO), Detroit Opera and the Matrix Theatre. 

A Choices participant works on art during an abstract painting class with College for Creative Studies.
A Choices participant works on art during an abstract painting class with College for Creative Studies. JVS+Kadima

This year’s program is the first to include participants from two areas of JVS + Kadima since the Kadima and JVS Human Services organizations combined in January 2022. It includes individuals with serious mental health challenges who receive residential, educational and clinical services through Kadima, along with those with intellectual and developmental disabilities who take part in the organization’s Choices program offering activities and enrichments. It is also the first Frame of Mind to be held indoors; the 2020 event was offered virtually, and last summer’s program was held outdoors on the roof of the Detroit Opera building due to pandemic protocols. 

“This is an amazing opportunity to highlight and share the talents and skills of the participants in our Creative Expressions program,” said CEO and President of JVS + Kadima Paul Blatt. “Thanks to the incredible amount of time devoted by our partners from some of the most influential artistic institutions in Detroit, our members have the opportunity to gain skills, confidence and share their beauty with the world.” 

Creative Expression Program Coordinator Craig Nowak explained more about the event. “It is chiefly a musical theater production, created by Kadima members in collaboration with our Creative Expressions community partners. Matrix Theatre worked with our member to write, plan and act the play. The DSO and Creative Arts Therapies helped compose the musical portion and will be performing alongside our members, and Detroit Opera assisted in the choreography of a dance and singing portion of the evening,” Nowak said. 

“There will also be Kadima and Choices art on display that was made with guidance by teaching artists from the College for Creative Studies.” This artwork includes 10 5-foot-tall paintings by participants of the Choices program.

Kenneth Rosenthal takes photos during a photography outing at Kayrod Gallery in Detroit.
Kenneth Rosenthal takes photos during a photography outing at Kayrod Gallery in Detroit. JVS+Kadima
JVS + Kadima Artists

Along with singer Maddie Berry, more than 20 JVS + Kadima members are taking part in Frame of Mind. One of these is Kenneth Rosenthal, an avid photographer whose work was recently accepted into the Oakland County Health Network traveling art exhibition. Rosenthal will have a short animation and story within the play and will also display his photography.

Sharon Glazer, another talented Kadima member, wrote a large portion of the play, created an animation for her story and will narrate her story. 

Joel Kaufman was chiefly responsible for writing the storyline and developing the characters that drive the play’s theme. He painted the characters life-sized on wood and created the animation that will be presented at the opening of the play and at different times throughout. In addition, along with Glazer, his visual art will be displayed in a gallery-type setting along with other pieces of work from other Kadima and Choices members. 

Sharon Glazer takes photos during an outing to Z Garage in Downtown Detroit.
Sharon Glazer takes photos during an outing to Z Garage in Downtown Detroit. JVS+Kadima

Creative Expressions programs take place throughout Metro Detroit, often at partner locations like the College for Creative Studies’ computer lab, at galleries, at parks and virtually. Some activities provided to Kadima, such as visual and performing arts, photography, writing, poetry, jewelry-making, dance and art-therapy, take place in the Lois and Milton Y. Zussman Activity Center in Southfield. 

“Everything our artists are doing really blows me away,” said Nowak, who is himself an artist, specializing in painting and ceramics, and who was instrumental in the animation work that his students were able to achieve. “It is incredibly inspiring.”

Blatt says the event is an important example of how working together brings out the best in the community.  “The reality is that this program happens because of the support of the community at large and the artistic community. Creative Expressions is philanthropically funded, and our Frame of Mind event demonstrates just how important the arts are to the people we serve,” he said. 

As for Berry, she is excited about performing the song “Memory” from the musical Cats on May 15. “I am so happy I can share my talent,” she said. However, perhaps more importantly, she credits the staff and fellow Clubhouse attendees as helping her heal from her illness. “They have taught me to be a happier person,” she says. “I consider Kadima to be part of my family.”  

2021 Frame of Mind Committee members.
2021 Frame of Mind Committee members. JVS+Kadima

For sponsorship opportunities and individual tickets for Frame of Mind, which are $100, go to the events page at www.kadimacenter.org.To learn more about the Creative Expressions Program, contact Craig Nowak at (248) 663-4345 or craign@kadimacenter.org.

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