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Scroll below for stories & photos about our work 

A Letter of Introduction . . .

About our volunteer mission,

Discovering the Creative Process

 We are Anne and Gary Wakenhut.  For over a half a century, we have been Discovering the Creative Process.

 Our mission with Discovering the Creative Process is to provide an environment that supports this creative exploration for students of all ages, people with educational and physical disabilities, acute and chronic illnesses, incarcerated felons and hospice patients.

 We believe. . .

 that the cosmos in which we live is alive and growing,

and that, by its very nature, the ongoing evolution of our cosmos  creates conflict, trauma, and difficulty.

 We believe. . .

that the creative process is a major component in our evolving cosmos

and that this creative process offers unique possibilities for resolution of conflict, trauma, and difficulty.

We believe. . .

 that the creative process is the means by which we as humans can:

·        Resolve our differences and live in harmony with each other and our environment.

·        Explore and sensitively develop the resources of our cosmos.

·        Explore and develop our unique individual potentials.

·        Heal our physical and emotional pains.

 Therefore we volunteer our services to . . .

·        Educational settings (pre-school through postgraduate) to teach, promote, and support the creative process.

·        Hospitals, nursing facilities and hospice organizations to facilitate transitional and healing processes.

·        Programs and facilities for those with physical, emotional, and intellectual disabilities to assist the development of their unique potential.

·        Prisons and jails to facilitate rehabilitation of inmates.

·        Community organizations to enhance their effectiveness.

·        Religious organizations (all faiths) to help recognize, develop, and facilitate  their creative relationship with their supreme being. 


We would like you to meet some of the people
who have introduced us the art of

Discovering
The Creative Process.

 

These young students with severe disabilities taught us the simplicity of Discovering the Creative Process They showed us that music is indeed, the common language, and can speak to all of us, regardless of our abilities. 

 

Our peak performance occurred on the day that “J” (one of the most inquisitive of the students) dragged himself across the floor to investigate the clarinet.  Following his non-verbal suggestion, we gave up the need to create perfect music and allowed him to manipulate the keys. Joyous laughter erupted as he discovered his wonderful capacity to change and influence the sounds.      


 

This is Mr. “C”, one of our most gentle mentors, who peacefully led us in Discovering the Creative Process.  Plagued with an inability to complete a sentence, music became our medium of communication.  He introduced us to his wonderfully rich heritage of Jewish music that we communally shared each Tuesday. 

In return, his soft smile and genuinely warm hand shake gave us the important sense of true friendship, love, and sharing.

We still recall the day we celebrated Hanukkah.  A female Episcopalian chaplain officiated.  Gifted with the ability to sing in Hebrew, she played the roll of the Jewish cantor, and I, the Yiddish clarinet player as his daughter lit the Menorah candles.   

 Our peak performance occurred the day of his passing. He was in a coma, and at a distance.  Unbelievably, the family cat demanded control of this parting performance, She cued us where to sit, when to play, and what our pace should be.

 Finally, satisfied with our offering, she lay down between her departing master’s feet and slept.

That evening, after “C” had passed, we walked outside to be greeted by a magnificent March night created just for us by him.  The sky was gorgeously illuminated by thousands of sparkling stars in clean, fresh 10 degree air.   


 

 

This is Ms “M”.  She refused to die within the 6 months suggested by hospice.  She illustrated Discovering the Creative Process by living five long additional years, teaching us that a terminal diagnosis is not a ticket for death, but just another step in living our lives. 

 

Ms “M” lived in her own distant world, teaching us the importance of traveling to her space rather than expecting her to come to ours.  However, on one occasion, she briefly, and with great command, returned to our world. 

Apparently tired of consistent flute playing, and with a voice all of us sons recall, admonishingly stated, “That’s enough”, and we put the flute away for the rest of the afternoon.    

She also joined us from time to time as we played the Brahms “Lullaby”.  Possibly holding a long-ago child, she hummed its sweet tune. 


We would also like you to meet “J”. He became a teacher for Discovering the Creative Process, and we the students, as he introduced us to his performance of humility.  We were attending a training to become mentors in the Prison Creative Arts Project.  Our tears would not stop flowing, and the tightness in our chests refused to release as he shared the pain of his lengthy incarceration and the doubtfulness of his future as a newly released parolee.   


 

These young creators participated with us in a Discovering the Creative Process artist-in-residency program.  After a morning of exploring creativity with words, they wrote their own poems and shared them with their classmates as we gently surrounded their efforts with improvised notes. 

 


 

Ms"R" taught us the truest essence of Discovering the Creative Process.  An Afro-American woman of huge volume, she was a true “spirit” within our presence.  

The first day we walked into her room, we almost missed her seated in the darkened corner, pulled curtains added to her mysterious presence.  With an inoperatible tumor the size of a grapefruit on her neck, she didn’t speak . . . not because of the tumor but because she, being a native of Haiti, did not speak our language. 

 As we began to play, our music radiated and reverberated around and through the room and our instruments with an ethereal essence we had never before experienced.  Then, we began to hear a beautifully illuminated crystal clear soprano voice humming from somewhere way beyond.   Soon the mystery of this beautiful luscious sound was solved as we discovered this spiritual music was radiating from deep within her huge presence.

We continued to visit her for several months, and always felt great excitement and joy within us as we walked through her always opened door.  What an honor it was to be greeted by the warmth of her spirit and the opportunity to come together as one by Discovering the Creative Process.    


 

Discovering the Creative Process became a true reality for us as these non-readers expanded their limited capacities through a variety of creative activities.

Imagine their feelings of joy, excitement and success when they (as a result of these creative activities) comprehended these confusing symbols were words, read all the words in a sentence without assistance, and then recognized these words revealed a whole story!

 


We were facilitating a church training program for caregivers.  The participants were divided into pairs with one acting as listener (no words were to be spoken by the listener).  The speaker was given the opportunity to experience the power of Discovering the Creative Process (continuing to talk without interruption often creates  important new awarenesses and directions) by verbally sharing his/her concerns over assuming care giving responsibilities.. 

 Ms “K”, one of the participants, was sharing her unease about her relationship with her grandmother.  This important person in her life no longer acknowledged Ms “K”’s presence due to the tragedy of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.   Ms K. had reached the point where she could no longer spend time with her grandmother (due to her grandmother’s extreme deterioration), and Ms “K” was feeling extreme guilt.  

As she talked about her concerns, she suddenly broke into tears with a new awareness.  She had been unwilling to let go of her old image of her grandmother and accept her as she was.  A new direction occurred as she realized there did not have to be verbal interaction.  What her grandmother really needed was someone to just sit and hold her hand. 

 


Would you like to become involved in

Discovering the Creative Process

 and help to:

  • Resolve our differences and live in harmony with each other and our environment
     

  • Explore and sensitively develop the resources of our cosmos. 
     

  • Explore and develop the unique individual potentials of others.
     

  • Heal our physical and emotional pains.

 You can help us by:

  • Participating with us in Discovering The Creative Process  (as an individual or through your family, church, business, organization, etc.)   
     

  • Providing us with contacts who can utilize Discovering The Creative Process services.
     

  • Financially supporting our efforts with Discovering The Creative Process.
      

  • Assisting us with a health insurance policy.


Contact us to learn more about this volunteer mission

Discovering the Creative Process

Anne W. Wakenhut, MA, Certified Music Practitioner
Gary W. Wakenhut, MA, Certified Music Practitioner

Phone:  989-352-6996    Email:  share@collectingconsort.com
website: www.collectingconsort.com
7363 W. Edgar Rd., Lakeview, MI 48850

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Anne & Gary Wakenhut
989-287-1134
Email: share@collectingconsort.com

Box 272
Lakeview, MI 48850