Metro Detroiters with Developmental Disabilities Step into the Fashion World with New Wearable Art Classes

Metro Detroiters with Developmental Disabilities Step into the Fashion World with New Wearable Art Classes at CCS


Gesher Human Services (formerly JVS + Kadima), is collaborating with Detroit’s College for Creative Studies (CCS) to offer metro Detroiters with intellectual and developmental disabilities a chance to explore their artistic and fashion skills by designing clothing and accessories.

The new weekly program, Fashion Fridays & Wearable Art began on July 8, 2022 and will run for nine weeks.  The program is being held at CCS in Detroit, led by certified teaching artists. The classes focus on self-expression and the joy of making and wearing something that expresses participants’ fashion flare. At the end of the nine weeks, participants will take part in a fashion show to demonstrate the clothing they have created. The attendees are all participants in Choices, a program offered by Gesher Human Services where individuals with disabilities engage in enriching activities to keep them active and engaged in the community. Gesher Human Services is a non-profit organization that serves vulnerable communities including those with disabilities and severe mental illness.

“We wanted to encourage creativity with a focus on fashion for our Choices members and teaming up with the professional artists at CCS gave us a wonderful opportunity to do just that,” said Craig Nowak, Program Director of Creative Expressions, the multi-disciplinary arts program at Gesher Human Services. “Designing clothes and accessories is a unique way to express your style and we know it will give our members confidence and pride, while learning new skills for self-expression.”

Program classes will include creating loose garments (tops and bottoms) from fabric and paper; creating fashion accessories such as bags, totes, hats, wrist bands, and jewelry from leather and paper; and making simple leather sandals.

Assistant Director for Education and Outreach for Community Arts Partnership at CCS, Larry Lunsford, said that the program is reaching a marginalized community who may not have benefitted from such art instruction in the past. “Working with our talented artists, individuals will get to construct pieces of wearable art that they can actively wear and enjoy,” he said.

For more information on Creative Expressions contact Craig Nowak at; to find out more about the Choices program, please visit

Photos – Craig Nowak


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