We first got to know folks from the Iris Network–an organization that supports those who are blind or visually impaired–when they came up from Portland to join the audience at our Noon Tunes concert series. Some of these folks are musicians themselves, and we were happy to run into them again at a hand drumming workshop taught by our Teaching Artist, Katie Bradley. We learned that Aaron Seglin, an Iris resident and professional musician, and Michelle Collins, an Iris volunteer, were leading a weekly drum circle, and they invited us to drop in. We experienced the warm, supportive environment they had built and discussed their goals of increasing group cohesion and developing individual leadership skills. They invited Katie to co-facilitate the group through the fall and to help Aaron and Michelle advance and diversify their teaching abilities. We sincerely enjoyed getting to know the Iris drummers, sharing lots of laughs, and learning a lot from each another along the way.
Folks of any ability and any (or no) experience are welcome to the Iris Network drum circle, held every Thursday 10-11:30am, 189 Park Ave, Portland.