Constance Alexander: Mosaic garden project helps ensure that adults with disabilities are not overlooked

Debi Henry Danielson places a box of 3 by 6-inch blocks on the table and says, “I can’t wait to start piecing it together.” Neither can her volunteers from Murray’s WATCH Inc., a local organization that assists adults with disabilities in becoming fully integrated into the community. They are working on pieces of a community mosaic — a garden of sorts — that will be on permanent...

Constance Alexander: Inspired by a few ‘favorite things,’ arts bookmaking workshop a success

One of Allison Salazar’s favorite things is her service dog, Espy, short for Esperanza, which means “hope” in Spanish. Asked about other things she loves, Allison confesses a preference for the colors purple and pink, friends and the Special Olympics. Assisted by her mother, Kathy Salazar, Allison participated in a bookmaking workshop that showcases favorite things. Artist Nicole Hand guided...

Constance Alexander: Inspirational ‘Ride with Larry’ film about a journey of hope lands in Murray April 20

Larry Smith is a tough guy. Sort of. He spent twenty-six years in law enforcement as a captain in Connecticut, with the Hamden Police Department. He’s been married long enough to raise three children and move to South Dakota when his wife, Betty, accepted a professorship in Political Science at the university there. Some might suspect that the tough guy went soft when he opened the Bakery Café in...

Constance Alexander: Inspired by images of people with disabilities, 7th graders celebrate Poetry Month

This year, January, February and March stacked up so fast, it has been hard to keep up. And now I hear the faint patter of graceful April approaching, fragrant as spring rain and sweet camellias. April is National Poetry Month, a time to celebrate the power of words. Compliments of the Academy of American Poets, this is the twenty-first birthday of Poetry Month. Western Kentucky is noting this important...

Constance Alexander: New York Times best seller ‘Out of My Mind’ inspires community forum

Melody Brooks is overwhelmed by snowflakes. She is not, however, referring to the derogatory term for young people who are too emotionally vulnerable to cope with views that challenge her own. Instead, she thinks of words as snowflakes. “Each one delicate and different, each one melting untouched in my hands,” is the way she puts it. Melody’s passion for language goes back to her earliest memories....

Constance Alexander: Coincidence or divine intervention, those with disabilities getting attention

One morning a good-but-rare word comes up in casual conversation. That afternoon, you hear the same word in a podcast. At night, you read the news online and there it is again. Next day doing a crossword, shazam! You fill in the blank spaces and marvel over the recurrence. Stanford linguistics professor Arnold Zwicky calls it frequency illusion, the experience in which an idea or a word pops up again...

Constance Alexander: Cast, mentors, parents and crew all learning to fly in Peter Pan Jr. production

A shy young boy smiles with delight as he greets the play director, former Kentucky Teacher of the Year, Holly Bloodworth. He takes her face in his hands, gently pats her cheeks and then drifts away. With a call for quiet backstage, the stage manager reminds everyone that, on opening night, no one will audibly shoosh them. They will have to remember on their own. As I watch the group begin to settle...

Murray-Calloway County Endowment for Health Care receives Arts Access grant

The Murray-Calloway County Endowment for Health Care and award-winning writer Constance Alexander are recipients of an Arts Access Grant from the Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency supported by state tax dollars and the National Endowment for the Arts. Entitled “Hope & Glory: The Art of Inclusion,” the grant will support a year-long series of hands-on arts experiences, as well as...