The art of healing

TRACK helps abused kids recover

Terry Doran, photography by Ellie Bogue

Terry Doran, photography by Ellie Bogue

Terry Doran has been involved in many activities over the course of his career. Yet his involvement in the Three Rivers Arts Center for Kids (TRACK) may be closest to his heart. The goal of the year-old group is to help children recover from child abuse.

Doran said he grew up with an abusive mother who committed suicide after years of anger, abuse and neglect toward her four sons. Her favorite word to describe her sons, Doran said, was “repulsive.” The damage was so great that one of his brothers killed his wife and then committed suicide, according to police reports. Doran understands how damaged children become damaged adults, and he’s hoping that TRACK will give these children a healthy outlet as well as an understanding that can help them begin to heal.

“TRACK is about using the power of art to combat child abuse,” Doran said. “The reason I believe in art is that it definitely saved me.”

Doran may be best known as the founder and host of the Theatre for Ideas, which for more than 30 years has been highlighting issues and personalities from around Northeast Indiana on public access television, as well as issues of international importance. He’s also an award-winning documentarian who recently traveled the length of the Maumee River to raise awareness of pollution there.

He brings to TRACK both the insight of an abuse survivor and the keen eye of a director. On June 28, residents can learn more about child abuse and TRACK’s work during a presentation by Katherine Reddick, the Texas woman who last year wrote a scathing obituary about her abusive mother that went viral. Reddick will be speaking at 2 p.m. in Meeting Room A at the downtown branch of the Allen County Public Library.

Doran recently partnered with Byron Health Center, which is providing space for the group to meet. He said the staff at Byron has been very enthusiastic and residents are eager to partner with the children on projects. He said kids can work in different art forms, including visual and dramatic arts, set design and costuming.

“The emphasis is not to be Picasso,” he said, “(Art) gives you joy, it’s something to give (children) a feeling of control.

“What I learned growing up with this torment is if I had someone to talk to, something that would get me out of the house and make me feel appreciated,” he would have been better able to deal with the effects of child abuse.

“We want to try to show that you don’t have to be defined by this,” Doran said. “We want to give everyone a chance to make a difference.”

First appeared in the June 2014 issue of Fort Wayne Monthly.

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