Bringing the Arts to the Underserved in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties
The mission of Pyramid, Inc. (Pyramid) is to serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities; care about the people they serve, their staff and each other; provide uncompromised service; believe in what they do; and make a difference. Pyramid, Inc. was formed in 1994 as a 501(c)(3) corporation to provide unique therapeutic, educational and cultural opportunities to adults with severe developmental disabilities. Pyramid's students suffer from both mental and physical health challenges, such as spina bifida, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, stroke, bipolar disorder, blindness, epilepsy, autism, Down syndrome, mental retardation and traumatic head injury. Pyramid Pensacola is one of five sister organizations located throughout the state of Florida. Each Pyramid location is financed and managed as an independent organization. In Pensacola, the Pyramid Players fill the WSRE Amos Studio for two performances each year. From 1994 through 2017, more than 1,500 individuals in the Pensacola area have benefited from Pyramid’s art programs.
Pyramid Pensacola has a long wait list of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who wish to attend Pyramid's unique art programs. The IMPACT 100 grant would fund the labor costs for construction of an expansion of the current space to create a visual arts studio, add a second classroom for visual arts instruction, add two ADA compliant restrooms, remodel the main entrance into a light-filled gallery to exhibit students’ work and provide an area for art sales. In addition to the new space, IMPACT funds will be used to renovate existing space to create even more capacity. The total project budget for this expansion is $304,290. Approximately $192,000 of the additional funds required will be funded from Pyramid trust funds, set aside and allocated for this purpose. The remaining expenditures will be funded through established fundraising activities and individual contributions already secured.
The staff and management at Pyramid are focused on “making a difference" in the lives of those individuals who they serve. Utilizing the arts to discover the talents of these deserving individuals has become the hallmark of Pyramid Pensacola since 1995. By constructing additional classroom space and remodeling the entrance to the current building, Pyramid will add services for an additional 25 individuals on a permanent basis. Because of the additional space made available through this grant, the organization will be able to fund summer scholarships for 24 additional students who do not have the funds available to attend. These scholarships are a part of the total project budget and funding has already been secured. The IMPACT 100 Performing Arts Studio
constructed in 2010 allows Pyramid students to rehearse their WSRE Amos Studio performances each year. These performances enlighten Pensacola's art community of the needs and benefits Pyramid’s arts program provides those with disabilities. Pyramid fully expects the new expanded visual arts studio will provide additional community awareness and support for the deserving individuals on the wait list. Being able to serve as many individuals as possible who have been on the Santa Rosa and Escambia County wait list for years will be an event to celebrate. The impact for these individuals who discover their abilities and become productive members of our community will be measured by additional support from parents, caregivers and performance patrons alike. The important measurement, however, will be the increased participation of these students in the cultural life of our community, made possible by the enlarged and more functional space.