College of Visual and Performing Arts

Shakespeare's Island for Autism Spectrum Disorder Students

Yes, You “Will” on Shakespeare’s Island!

AAA GA shakespeare_28 GM Emma OlivaThe IPFW Community Arts Academy (CAA) is offering Shakespeare’s Island, a class for students ages 10–18 with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). 

This enlightening workshop aims to help students improve their ability to recognize emotions and enhance their communication skills. Games based on Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” will be played throughout the class. A parent or caregiver is required to be in attendance with each student. 

AAA G shakespeare_87 GM EmmaCAA drama instructor Gloria Minnich received training in the Hunter Heartbeat Method (HHM) at Ohio State during the Shakespeare and Autism Workshop, working with students on the autism spectrum in small group settings. Each session will be led by Minnich, with assistance from a role model who also trained in HHM and up to three helpers.

The next workshop will take place in spring 2018; call for details.
Six one-hour sessions: $49
Scholarships have been made possible by AWS Foundation.
For information or to register, call 260-481-6059.

Download a brochure about this class by clicking here.

Watch a video interview with instructor Gloria Minnich from the April 20, 2017, episode of PBS39's Arts In Focus by clicking here.

Watch a video interview with instructor Gloria Minnich in the April 4, 2017,  Fort Wayne Journal Gazette by clicking here.

Read an article in the August 18, 2016, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel by clicking here.

Information about the IPFW Community Arts Academy:

Information about the Hunter Heartbeat Method:

For more information, contact 
Melinda Haines, Director
IPFW Community Arts Academy
260-481-6059 or Email Melinda



The Purdue University Fort Wayne College of Visual and Performing Arts, including the Community Arts Academy, is fully accredited by all of its discipline-specific accrediting agencies: the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), and the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST).

NGCAE Logo_ColorThe Community Arts Academy is a member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education and is committed to making high-quality arts education accessible to all.

Refund Policy

A full refund is given when the university cancels a course or when the Community Arts Academy receives notification of withdrawal from the registrant before the third business day prior to the start of the class. No refunds will be given after class or private instruction begins. Course cancellations may occur due to low registration. Course offerings and fees may be subject to change without notice.

Parental Supervision Statement

Purdue University Fort Wayne is a public institution of higher education that offers a wide variety of classes, to a wide range of students from differing backgrounds, including adults and children in grades pre K – 12. While the Purdue Fort Wayne College of Visual and Performing Arts is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of all students, parents are reminded that it is their responsibility to supervise minors when they are on campus and not in the classroom. Before and after class, our teachers cannot take the place of a parent and assume responsibility for unsupervised children.

In case of an emergency please contact the Purdue Fort Wayne University Police at 481-6827.

Personal Enrichment Classes for Adults

The Community Arts Academy offers regular classes for kids in pre-K through grade 12 in art, dance, music and theatre, but if you are an adult interested in personal enrichment in these areas, please visit the Purdue Fort Wayne Division of Continuing Studies to see what types of classes they are offering.

Purdue University West Lafayette Procedures for Programs Involving Minors

The Purdue Fort Wayne Community Arts Academy abides by the Purdue University operating procedures and policy outlined in the Operating Procedures for Programs Involving Minors that went into effect January 1, 2015. This policy and registration form may be viewed here: