Jim and Malissa

(photo: Jim returns to catch up with Director, Malissa in Spring 2019)

The genesis of Cape Cod Collaborative Arts Network – CapeCodCAN dates back to Valentine’s Day 2005, when a little boy named Roan, 6 months old at the time, endured a brain and eye injury which changed his life and the life of his family forever. However, Roan was born with an indomitable spirit and a love of music which have endured and transcend his injury. That spirit infects everyone whom he meets.

It inspired his retired grandfather, James Hurley, to look for volunteer opportunities here on the Cape. Attending a Brain Injury Association of MA meeting, being held at the Cotuit Center for the Arts, and asked what he would like to do, he mentioned outreach as a possibility, having both a theater and business background. When a young man at the meeting, recovering from a brain injury, heard the word theater, he said that he had been in a production at Cape Cod Community College several years before and that it had helped his memory, speech, and self esteem. This was the “AHA” moment, when sitting in a building dedicated to the visual and performing arts and hearing the impact such arts can have on people with disabilities, the idea of CapeCodCAN was born.

Since that time, many discussions, meetings, and involvement among numerous Cape Cod people and organizations working with people with disabilities, plus interactions with inspirational groups throughout the country, have led to the Cape Cod Collaborative Arts Network – CapeCodCAN – dedicated to providing opportunities for access, inclusion, and active participation in the literary, visual, and performing arts for people with disabilities on Cape Cod.

“CapeCodCAN and this production were amazing and just to think, it all began with a group of crazy but dedicated people, sitting around a dining room table, munching on Anne’s cookies. I heard many versions of: ‘what/when do you think the next one will be?’ BIA-MA is proud to be part of such an important and powerful initiative.”

Sandy Topalian, Manager of the Southeastern Region of the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts

The Cape Cod Collaborative Arts Network was under the fiscal sponsorship of VSA Massachusetts (www.vsamass.org), for the first four years of it’s existence. As of January 1, 2016, CapeCodCAN became a stand-alone, self-sustaining program of the Cotuit Center for the Arts (www.cotuitcenterforthearts.org/). Cotuit Center for the Arts is a recognized 501(c)3 organization, which allows CapeCodCAN to accept tax deductible donations and grants. CapeCodCAN remains responsible for all funding and resources necessary for its programs.

Jim has moved closer to his grandson in Maryland, turning the reigns of CapeCodCAN over to Director, Malissa Kenney. Malissa is experienced in grant writing for non-profit human service agencies and shares her enthusiasm for art with our members.

Help is still needed to make the continued efforts of CapeCodCAN a reality. Tax-Deductible Donations are sought to continue development of a sustaining program of inclusion in the arts on Cape Cod.

Checks should be made payable to “CapeCodCAN” and mailed to CapeCodCAN, P.O. Box 2042, Cotuit, MA 02635 or donate on-line here.