- Associated Press - Monday, October 24, 2016

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) - A choir in Fond du Lac is giving adults with disabilities a space to engage in the arts while also providing entertainment to the community.

The United Singers of Fond du Lac, a choir for physically and mentally disabled adults, now has 40 members, according to the Fond du Lac Reporter newspaper (https://fondul.ac/2etMG42).

The nonprofit formed more than two years ago after Madison-based arts organization VSA Wisconsin cut its choir. The group was reformed in Fond du Lac once a board of directors was created and it applied for nonprofit status.

“It really saddens me that so many programs for the (disabled) population are being cut because of budgets and stuff,” said Diane Weigel, the groups’ director for the past 13 years.

The group practices once a week for most of the year. The choir performs holiday songs at a local mall in December and other widely known songs in the spring.

“As adults, there aren’t as many opportunities in the arts,” said Diane Fricken, the choir’s historian. “This is an opportunity for them to enjoy the arts.”

Founder Diane Weigel said participants learn singing skills but also become more confident and take pride in their accomplishments.

“They are just beaming when they have succeeded at doing a successful concert,” Weigel said.

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Information from: The Reporter Media, https://www.fdlreporter.com

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