FVPC #33 Working with Kids with Special Needs: Interview with Amanda Broadfoot

Our special Guest, Amanda Broadfoot is a passionate voice and piano teacher from Tallahassee Florida. She is the Creative Director of Making Light Productions - a non profit, inclusive theatre arts education program for children of all abilities. Amanda is sharing her teaching story and encouraging and inspiring strategies for teachers who are working with special needs children.

About our Guest:

Amanda and students from Making Light Productions.

Amanda and students from Making Light Productions.

Mandi Broadfoot has decades of experience in the entertainment business - both on stage and backstage, in front of the camera and writing for stage and screen.  She has been singing and playing the piano since the age of 5 and wrote her first play in the fourth grade.

Throughout her career, Amanda Broadfoot has worked as a screenwriter, journalist, magazine editor and non-profit director. She won the 2002 Variety Magazine Screenwriting Competition at the Cannes Film Festival, was the 2007 winner of the Liddicoat Journalism Prize and was awarded a television Emmy in 2013, as a member of The Pod Advertising team, for the commercial “Fish for the Future.”

Amanda has taught piano, voice, and theatre to kids of all ages and abilities. The mother of a 10-year-old son with autism, she specializes in teaching the arts to kids with different abilities. Broadfoot has a B.A. degree in Creative Writing and an M.A. in Literature from University of South Florida.

While working in children's theatre, Mandi connected with current Making Light creative partner, Juliet Yaques.  Both have children with autism -- Mandi a 10-year-old son, Billy, and Juliet a 12-year-old daughter, Katie -- who happen to be very gifted musically.  Mandi began teaching voice and piano to Katie and the two moms had many opportunities to talk about the future.  "We shared so many similar hopes, fears, and interests.  And one day Juliet shared her dream with me, one of having a place where our kids could not only grow up and work -- but where they would also have a sense of purpose and community. Becoming a part of that dream has been the greatest professional joy of my life.  Seeing that dream take shape as we open our doors -- doors we only imagined less than five months ago -- is absolutely overwhelming.  I can't wait to turn the 'lights' on."

To learn more about Making Light Productions - visit their website

Contact Amanda at mandi@makinglightproductions.org