Merrimack Hall Performing Arts Center
Merrimack Hall Performing Arts Center is a non-profit organization. Our mission is to provide visual and performing arts education, and social and cultural activities, to children and adults with special needs through The Johnny Stallings Arts Program (JSAP).
JSAP offers substantive, year-round arts activities and a day habilitation for people with diagnoses such as Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, spina biffida and a host of other conditions that might interfere with an individual’s ability to participate in mainstream arts activities. Classes are offered on a weekly basis to children and adults who range in age from three to sixty-five and include dance, tap, theatre, choir, creative writing, yoga, visual art and more.
Project UP is our performing company for teens and adults, with 72 members who perform around the community and at competitions and conventions across the Southeast. Project UP members have a two-week summer intensive that culminates with a performance and offers students in the group to be involved in all aspects of production including FOH duties, set and prop design and building, lighting and sound design, stage management, costume construction and more. JSAP dancers were special guest performers at the 2013 Dizzy Feet Foundation Gala in Los Angeles and JSAP has been featured in special reports on CNN and HLN. JSAP has been recognized locally, regionally and nationally for the unique nature of its elements and relies heavily on the support of hundreds of volunteers who offer whatever level of assistance each of our students requires.
Current enrollment is 503 students and 267 volunteers. Weekly classes are offered with a nominal monthly tuition; 47% of students receive a full or partial scholarship. JSAP has an annual holiday performance, an annual spring recital and musical concerts every six weeks in Merrimack Hall’s state of the art, 302-seat theatre. JSAP’s day habilitation program, The Connection, currently serves 60 adults through four half-day sessions and is offered at no cost to its participants thanks to partial funding from the Alabama Council on Developmental Disabilities. The Connection’s activities include music therapy, yoga, visual art lessons in a variety of medium and frequent field trips and outings around the community.
Camp Merrimack is offered each summer to children with special needs ages 3-12 and is a half-day visual and performing arts camp. We believe that everyone has the right to participate in the arts and are dedicated to providing high quality instruction in every possible genre. To enroll a child, volunteer or make a donation, contact us at email@example.com visit our website at www.merrimackhall.com