TANGO Member Showcase - May 2021

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Creative Arts for Developing Minds, Inc.

Creative Arts for Developing Minds, Inc. (CADM) was formed in 2011 and is a Connecticut based nonprofit organization. CADM’s mission is ​to provide opportunities for creative expression, enhancement of positive self-esteem, and development of a sense of community to foster care and adoptive children, aged two through twelve years of age, using combined music, art and movement activities.

CADM, through the work of  Nan Arnstein, its founder, has been an active member of the nonprofit community through participation in workshops offered by Tango and by serving on the Boards of Directors of other nonprofit organizations.  Nan Arnstein serves as member of the Citizens Review Panel and Regional Advisory council for the Department of Children and Families in the central Connecticut region and as a co-chair of the statewide Connecticut Children’s Behavioral Health Advisory Council.

What Makes Creative Arts for Developing Minds Unique?
The premise under which Creative Arts for Developing Minds operates is that no child is hopeless and that children in foster care and adoptive children have not been given the opportunity to get what they need to develop in the healthiest way possible.

​All children in foster care have been exposed to trauma – the very act of being put into foster care is traumatic.  Children experience the loss of their birth family and often friends, school mates, teachers and everything that is familiar.

Therefore, CADM offers​ a holistic approach to working with children in foster care and adoptive children. The founder, Nan Arnstein, was a foster child and understands how transformative music, art and movement can be to child in foster care.  Children in foster care and adoptive children need involvement in activities that are designed to counteract and stimulate brain development.

Trauma affects children’s’ brains, bodies, behavior and ways of thinking.  Ongoing trauma disrupts a child’s sense of security, safety and sense of self and alters the ways in which they see and respond to people and situations in their lives.

​ The benefits of processes that engage the senses and the role that non-verbal expression can have to help youth manage trauma and loss are numerous.  Creative arts therapies offer children and adolescents impacted by trauma a safe outlet to express feelings of worry, sadness, fear, anger and more.  The benefits of exposure to the creative arts include creativity: non-verbal communications; confidence; receiving constructive criticism; problem solving; collaboration; perseverance; dedication; focus and accountability.

Services We Provide

CADM offers the following programs:

Eight Week Sessions:

  • One hour per week
  • Classes organized according “age”, both physical and emotional
  • Limited to 10 participants and experiential v. professional

Vacation Programs:

  • Half-day sessions during the week
  • One to five days per week
  • Classes Organized According to “age”, both physical and emotional
  • Limited to 10 participants
  • Experiential v. professional

Rocky Shores
A book of fiction, published in 2014, for 8-12-year-olds.  Charles Farmer, a nine-year-old veteran of the foster care system has been relocated to live with the Williamsons’, a family who live in Rocky Shores.  Charles begins a new life on Hinkley Street.  As Charles navigates his new school and teachers, he learns that not all change is bad.  Charles discovers the power of music and the effect it has on his chaotic and unsure existence.

How to Help
If you would like to enhance and advance the lives of children in foster care in Connecticut, please contact Nan Arnstein at or call 860.834.3359.

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