Typical Life Corporation and The Appell Center connect individuals to the arts

TLC Individuals and their Direct Support Professionals enjoyed a show at Strand Theatre in York in October.

On October 15, the power and grace of air twisted floating fabrics into stunning shapes and lifted giant balloons above the stage at the Appell Center for the Performing Arts Strand Theatre as Typical Life Corporation (TLC) Individuals looked on from the audience.

They were attending Air Play, an all-ages show that combines air sculpture and clowning to create an all-senses experience without words. 

The visit from TLC was part of the Appell Center’s new Community ConnecTix program. The program offers free blocks of tickets to nonprofit organizations that serve individuals in York County who might not otherwise have the resources to attend a show.

Making the arts accessible to all

“Part of our goal,” says Appell Center Director of Education and Community Engagement Seth Laidlaw, “is, we have some amazing shows coming through the Strand. We also have seats available, so why not have a way to open access more – so more of the community can enjoy the access we have.”

Laidlaw, who joined the Appell Center in January 2022, helped develop and formalize the Community ConnecTix program. In their first season offering Community ConnecTix, the Appell Center invited nonprofits to apply for tickets to six different shows.

Blocks of seats are set aside at each of the shows that might not otherwise have been accessible to these patrons, including TLC individuals. Laidlaw hopes to expand the number of tickets and shows available for Community ConnecTix patrons in the future. Over the next three years, he’s like to see it grow to 2000 tickets per year at both the Strand and Capitol theatres.

“The focus of it is making sure that we can make the arts accessible,” Laidlaw says.

His aim is to reduce the barriers to the arts, especially the cost of tickets, and increase exposure to different art programs and experiences that some individuals might not otherwise experience.

For TLC individuals, who took in Air Play with smiles on their faces and a sense of awe, a return to The Appell Center for the Performing Arts is likely in the works for the 2023-2024 season through the generosity of the Community ConnecTix program.