Community Art & Writing
This page introduces an exploration in “art and healing” in the community. My first “assignment” was teaching art to adults in a restricted area of a mental institution run much like a prison. These individuals had come through the criminal justice system, and I was not privy to their “crimes”, however, I was advised to “think the worst.” It was my first formal teaching position and I loved it in many ways. Mostly, I found that I could be an effective facilitator with “differently challenged” people, and it opened a whole new vista for me in terms of work-in-the-world as myself (after a lifetime of trying to fit somewhere I did not).
This lead to obtaining CBEST certification to substitute teach in the schools, and entry into the national Poet in the Schools program. I am completing the observation phase this Spring and will be developing lesson plans over the summer. In the fall I will start teaching at the elementary school my kids attended.
Lastly, a possible grant-funded year-long art and writing project has initiated an inquiry into “homelessness” that I am beginning to think and write about, and intend to share, in part, on this blog. I will consider the physical manifestation of, as one homeless woman I spoke with recently referred to her circumstance, as being “residentially challenged”. I will also explore another dimension, that of psychic “homelessness”. I will be considering this theme from a personal perspective and experience, as well as from a place of witness.
If the project, which is a finalist, is chosen to receive funding, I will be collaborating with another artist and a local non-profit serving homeless women and children. I intend to include observations, questions, meditations, dialogue, relevant quotes, and a bit of non-scholarly research along the way. If the project is to bear fruit, I will be sharing regularly here. If it doesn’t I may still blog about it. Check back with me on this one. I should know by summer.