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Katie Sweeney Podcast with Journey Skills - CO/LAB Theater Group

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Katie Sweeney Podcast with Journey Skills - CO/LAB Theater Group

The world gets smaller and smaller for our Autism and Developmentally Disabled communities, and we continue on the journey with Debra Caldow of Journey Skills, which is based in England. Debra has a new Podcast with my BBW (Beautiful Broadway Wife) Katie Sweeney:

Journey Skills Podcast - Collaborating for the Future with Katie Sweeney of CO/LAB Theater Group

In this episode, Katie Sweeney, a parent and board member of the CO/LAB Theater Group in New York, talks about her individual journey and the role musical theater has played not only in her life but also her son’s life.

Katie talks about CO/LAB and how they help individuals with developmental disabilities change the way they see themselves and, through reaching out to the wider community, change the way others see them as well. Here collaboration is about bringing people together and using everyone’s individual strengths to create something more than one person alone can create. Katie also talks about the wider impact that finding and building a collaborative community around her son has had when it comes to planning and imagining what the future might be like.



We have a vision for our daughter, and we want to provide a central hub for like-minded parents and carers. There is an assumption that our children are at the crossroads: left to their own devices they won’t achieve independence or success in their terms; but given the right forethought and input they will be able to reach a certain level of independence and purpose. We live in the land of hope, determination and optimism.
— Debra Caldow of Journey Skills

Other Journey Skills Podcast include:

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CO/LAB Live Annual Benefit - Monday April 22, 2019 - Honoring Katie Sweeney (and Dusty!)

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CO/LAB Live Annual Benefit - Monday April 22, 2019 - Honoring Katie Sweeney (and Dusty!)

HONORING:
KATIE SWEENEY, MATTE O'BRIEN & MATT VINSON

GET TICKETS NOW


CO/LAB’s annual benefit is an exciting celebration of diversity and inclusion through theater arts. Take a behind-the-scenes look at a CO/LAB class in action, and see how their actors’ lessons in the classroom evolve into a live performance. 

Support the work of CO/LAB actors and celebrate Creative Opportunities without Limits And Boundaries—all while enjoying a festive cocktail hour and the opportunity to win incredible raffle and live auction prizes.

This year’s event features a special performance by a CO/LAB class.

 

MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2019
6:30PM—OPEN BAR & LIGHT BITES
8:00PM—PROGRAM

THE HELEN MILLS EVENT SPACE AND THEATER
137 W 26TH STREET / NEW YORK, NY 10001

 
FESTIVE ATTIRE

GENERAL SEATING

GENERAL ADMISSION TICKET—$90

  • Cocktail hour open bar and lite bites

PREMIUM RESERVED SEATING

PREMIUM TICKET—$150

  • Cocktail hour open bar and lite bites

  • One reserved seat in prime location

  • Includes five raffle tickets

PREMIUM GROUP OF FOUR—$500 (BEST VALUE—SAVE $100!)

  • Cocktail hour open bar and lite bites

  • Four reserved seats together in prime location

  • Includes 10 raffle tickets

CORPORATE GROUP OF FOUR—$750

  • Cocktail hour open bar and lite bites

  • Four reserved seats in prime location

  • Includes 10 raffle tickets

  • Ad for your company featured on our event slideshow

  • Shoutout on our social media pages and your logo featured on the event web page

ADD-ON ITEMS

RAFFLE PACKAGE ADD-ON—$20 FOR 10 TICKETS

  • Special, lowest price only available online

TRIBUTE AD ON EVENT SLIDESHOW—$35 FOR HALF SLIDE / $55 FOR FULL SLIDE

  • We’ll be in touch once you make your purchase and work with you to design your tribute ad.

GET TICKETS NOW

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Katie and Dustin Sweeney: CO/LAB Theater Group and the NYC Marathon

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Katie and Dustin Sweeney: CO/LAB Theater Group and the NYC Marathon

I normally shy away from talking about Dustin directly on here, but he is why I am here and this was a great film by Katie and Dusty for the benefit of our friends at CO/LAB. Many of you have not heard Dustin speak before, so consider this his world premier (he is a good reader).


Dear Friends and Family:

On November 4, I will be running the NYC Marathon for the 4th time. This journey will be different, as I am committing my run this year to benefit CO/LAB, the amazing theater group that Dusty ACTS — yes acts — with and I am proud to serve as a Board Member of. I have never run a marathon in support of a non-profit before — a lot more pressure — but CO/LAB has become too important to us not to take the opportunity and ask for your support as I undertake this oh so daunting journey.

CO/LAB (Creative Opportunities without Limits And Boundaries) provides individuals with developmental disabilities a creative and social outlet through theatre arts. Dusty has participated in their Musical Theatre Ensemble class, performed in his first show, With Words, and is learning about Physical Theater in CO/LAB’s newest class. For many years, Dusty has enjoyed Broadway as a member of the audience…thanks to CO/LAB he now gets to experience the joy of expression and creation and perform on the stage!. Please enjoy this short (2:20) film of Dusty’s CO/LAB journey:

At this year's autism friendly performance of The Lion King, something truly amazing happened during Simba’s second act solo, Endless Night. Dusty was singing along, and suddenly got an anguished look on his face and clenched his fists. I braced myself for a melt down. The song built and Dusty’s look became even more anguished and his knuckles turned white, they were squeezed so hard. And then….wait for it….the song ended, Dusty relaxed his hands, and he smiled. In that moment, Dusty had become Simba. Dusty was Acting. That’s the power of theater. That’s the power of CO/LAB.

CO/LAB has created a truly inclusive and judgement-free environment that encourages Dusty to discover and express his voice through acting.  Please consider supporting my marathon journey this year through my #Imwithcolab Crowdrise campaign:*

https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/imwithcolab/katiesweeney  

CO/LAB’s core programming is offered at no cost to its Actors; thus any donation of any size is greatly needed and genuinely appreciated.  A lot of people giving a little adds up to a lot. 

There once was a day as many of you know when Dusty got thrown out of a theater — a Broadway theater in fact. Now, thanks to CO/LAB, he is theater! Moments of despair. Moments of glory. Much like the Drama masks. Much like a marathon.  Much like life.

Our love and gratitude,

Katie, Mike, Dylan and Dusty

*If you prefer, you can mail your gift to me, made out to CO/LAB Theater Group (see address below) and I will be honored to hand deliver it to Becky Leifman, our wonderful co-founder and Executive Director.

The Sweeney Family

1619 3rd Avenue, Apt. 21K

New York, NY 10128


co:lab theater lincoln.jpg

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Dustin and Katie Sweeney @ Broadway - Again!! - Theatre Development Fund, TEDxBroadway & CO/LAB

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Dustin and Katie Sweeney @ Broadway - Again!! - Theatre Development Fund, TEDxBroadway & CO/LAB

Theater Development Fund (TDF) - Whatever the next stage of housing life brings us, Dustin Sweeney will be near theatre. It has been a BIG piece of his life with Katie Sweeney. See the latest video from Theater Development Fund:

TDF’s autism-friendly performances bring thousands of families together to experience the joy of live theatre in a comfortable and welcoming environment.


Here is the original TEDxBroadway talk. Katie Sweeney discusses the impact of making live theater accessible to all audiences, specifically as it relates to Dustin Sweeney's experiences with Broadway. Katie Sweeney is an 'Autism Warrior Mom' and a musical theater lover (in that order).


Finally, Katie Sweeney is now on the Board of CO/LAB, Dustin Sweeney's performing arts group. They really are fantastic and here is our story from last Spring of 2017:

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#shareCOLAB: "Integrating" the Developmentally Disabled Community with #Broadway

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#shareCOLAB: "Integrating" the Developmentally Disabled Community with #Broadway


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. 

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