Veterans Reinventing Joy

33 3Arts supporters
$3,025 raised of $3,000 goal
0 Days 0:00:00 LEFT
Funded on April 14, 2014
    • 101% contributed

For veterans returning home with a disability, it is often difficult to see the possibilities beyond the limitations. With this project, I want to help veterans with disabillities rediscover their joy and potential. 

About This Project

Help our Veterans with disabilities rediscover joy!

Returning home with a disability can be the end of life as they knew it. It is so difficult to see the possibilities beyond the limitations. The possibility for joy. The possibility to dance. Veterans Reinventing Joy will help to realize those possibilities.

The video footage above is from our incredibly successful disability dance classes. We are currently developing a disability dance program to address the specific challenges faced by veterans. A program that will help them express difficult emotions, cope with a disability, and reconnect socially. Dance is a powerful gift!

Our Dance Party Workshops bring people together in a fun and accepting atmosphere where they feel free to discover that every body can dance. We teach new ways to move and to engage with one another. We make sports wheelchairs available, providing an opportunity to experience wheelchairs not as a burden, but as a mode of freedom to move and express oneself.

Many people view disability as a life sentence. As a ballerina who lost the ability to dance (in the traditional sense), I founded ReinventAbility to change that perception. By enlightening perceptions of disability, we can open up a world of possibilities for people whose lives are impacted by disability. 

You can help share this gift with the veterans who sacrificed so much for us.

Your donation will allow us to provide free services to Veterans, purchase wheelchairs, and pay dancers with disabilities a fair wage! Just $15 pays for a veteran to attend a workshop. $100 brings a family to a dance party.

Thank you and I hope you will dance with us!

Thank yous

Contribute any amount or choose from the levels below.

  • $25
    Donor listing on our website ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $50
    Everything above and a social media gratitude shout-out ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $75
    Everything above and your name listed in the event program and a copy mailed to your home ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $100
    Everything above and a personal thank you signed by one of our veterans ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $200
    Everything above and a limited edition DVD celebrating our veterans ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $300
    Everything above and an invitation to come dance with us! Attend the dance party and appear in the video ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $400
    Pay for a dance wheelchair! Everything above and we will express our thanks by naming a wheelchair for you with a plaque on the back ($0.00 is tax deductible.)

Ladonna Freidheim

Make a Wave Artist

Ladonna Freidheim is passionate about dance, inclusion, science, & joy! She is a formally trained dancer, experienced arts administrator, and disability inclusion specialist. After degenerative disability ended Ladonna's ballerina life, she recovered from surgeries with paralympic athletes. They taught her …

View Ladonna Freidheim's profile
  • Update 1: Disability Dancing
    Posted on March 21, 2014


    Be part of the Match! We are more than halfway there to receiving the generous 3Arts matching grant, and now we need your help. THAK YOU to those who have helped us get this far. Please join them by donating and sharing!

    Update 2: Supporting Dancers with Disabilities
    Posted on March 26, 2014


    Thank you for your donations allowing us to pay dancers with disabilities a fair wage! We are looking for one or two more people to join our team of dancers. Please leave a comment if you or someone you know is interested. And donate to our upcoming project!

    Update 3: Thank You 3Arts!
    Posted on April 01, 2014


    We got the 3Arts matching grant! Thank you so much to everyone who helped make this possible! Especially Mark Becker of 3Arts.

    Just 2 weeks left to reach our goal and make this project happen. If you haven't donated yet, please do!

    Thank You,  Ladonna

    Update 4: Celebrating Dance!
    Posted on April 07, 2014


    Our current students are excited to be sharing what they have learned at their Spring Fling.  We have watched their confidence grow as they experience the joy of dancing! Thank you to everyone who has enabled us to share this great gift of dance. Only one week left to join them! 

    Update 5: Why This Project?
    Posted on April 10, 2014


    I knew a foreign born ballerina who had her young career interrupted by mandatory military service. In our country, we are fortunate that enough people are willing to serve that we are free to enjoy our arts careers uninterrupted by mandatory military service.  This is something to be grateful for. This project is an opportunity for us to share the gifts of dance with those who served for us and now face life with a disability. Please donate today. And thank you to those who have!

    Update 6: Veterans Reinventing Joy: Video Update
    Posted on April 14, 2014


    Hear from our students directly:

    Please donate today to help us reach more people. And thank you to those who have!

    Update 7: Last Chance to Share the Gift of Dance
    Posted on April 14, 2014


    Dance feeds the soul and heals the mind!

    LAST CHANCE to share the gift of dance with people with disabilities. Campaign ends today.

    Thank you Jessica Gorman, Emily Stein, Raissa D’Souza, Rob Snyder, Phyllis Hayes, Jennifer Wittman, Toni Morris, Carrie Sandahl, and everyone else who generously donated! Together we make the world a better place.

    Update 8: Dance Matters
    Posted on November 11, 2014


    This Veterans day, our veterans would like to thank all of you who made this program possible. The suicide rate for veterans in this country is an average of 22 lost souls per day. At the end of our most recent adapted dance workshop, one of the veterans told us that his life is better because of this program. Joy matters. Dance matters.

    Thank You! For future updates please 'like' the ReinventAbility facebook page.

    • Thank you to the following for contributing to 3Arts with the recommendation that we support this project.

    • Carrie Sandahl

    • Sandra Simos

    • Ton Morris

    • Roberta Holzmueller

    • Lisa Oddo

    • Yvette Freidheim

    • Mary Prekosovich

    • Ladonna Freidheim

    • Adil Javed

    • Derek Freidheim

    • Jennie Maloney

    • Nancy Livingston

    • Tom Freidheim

    • Jocelyn White

    • Jon Satrom

    • Jessica Gorman

    • Jennifer Wittman

    • Kelly Smith

    • Michele Beaulieux

    • Christine Hayes

    • Arminda Thomas

    • Mark Becker

    • Emily Stein

    • Joe McCauley

    • Paul Simpson

    • Phyllis Hayes

    • Robert Snyder

    • Rebekah Cowing

    • Janet Freidheim

    • Raissa D'Souza

    • Iris Bernblum

    • Miskim Venice Johnson

    • Ladonna Freidheim

make it work


3AP Presenting Partner:

  Joyce Logo

 Additional support provided by: 

Department of Cultural Affairs logo  Illinois Arts Council