By: Kerry Reed

I adopted three children from foster care. They came from horrendous abuse and neglect, so horrific the police officer who removed them quit and had to get psychological care.

My children’s healing began in the arts. My oldest, who at three, had her own language because of neglect, found her true voice in singing programs, dance, and through writing and spending many hours in the library.

My middle child, who was removed at the age of twenty-two months, had SO much rage, and being in dance helped her focus that rage. She is sixteen now and just received a full scholarship to Governor’s school in theatre. She was in the 8th percent of those accepted. She plans to pursue a life full of performing and using the arts to help the special needs community.

My youngest, who had a broken arm, severe bruising, malnutrition, and failure to thrive at the time of his removal. He was   four months old. He was able to find an inner confidence because of the arts. He has an incredible voice and his goal is to sing “The Star Spangled Banner” at a big event. He’s been in professional shows and film and local events.

The arts have transformed my children more than any therapy. They plan to give back. We need the arts and funding because it changes lives and in some cases, saves lives.”

Get involved now. Let congress know how you feel. For more information and ideas, please see Americans for the Arts.

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