Integrated Community” is an evolving term. Broadly defined, it is the full participation of all people in community life. This includes the integration of people with developmental disabilities into society.
— Mike Sweeney - Carousel 51

Building a house or "repurposing" an apartment is easy in comparison to building a community. CO/LAB Theater Group is simply fantastic at creating an "Integrated Broadway Community."

We were introduced to CO/LAB Theater Group in the fall of 2016 by the Lincoln Center Passport Program.  Last night we attended CO/LAB’s annual benefit, which is a night of performance celebrating diversity and inclusion through theater arts. Please watch this 30 second clip and you will get the feeling for the energy that was produced last night:

Dustin Sweeney's appreciation and attendence of Broadway Musicals has been well documented at TEDxBroadway by Katie Sweeney. Now through the miracle of CO/LAB, he will soon be an off-Broadway actor in CO/LAB's June 2017 performance!!

It was amazing to watch CO/LAB's Teaching Artist "integrate" the Developmentally Disabled actors into the show. These actors literally became different people onstage, and this transformation from classroom to the performance on stage was awesome to watch. 

If you read this Blog, you know the BIG topic these days is "HOW TO INTEGRATE OUR POPULATION?" The Teaching Artist of CO/LAB probably do not understand how important integration is for our community from a procedural/compliance perspective. They are actors, so why would they??!! From the many events that I have seen over the years, CO/LAB are one of the "Leading Experts of Integration for the Developmentally Disabled" along with our friends at Surfers Healing

"CO/LAB Theater Group is a non-profit organization that has been providing individuals with developmental disabilities a creative and social outlet through theater arts since 2011. At CO/LAB, our Teaching and Supporting Artists work together to facilitate a positive, safe and fun environment for our actors. In classes and rehearsals, we encourage participants to collaborate and work together as an ensemble as well as discover their individual voices."

CO/LAB is starting a social media campaign, so please use #shareCOLAB if you share this post, and feel free to reach out to this amazing group.