click on the title to read the Huff Post version, “In Support of the Arts as Conduit for Extreme Expression and Catharsis”
Veterans Reclaim Armistice Day, a panel discussion event, part of the Spirit & Place Festival & sponsored by the Vonnegut Memorial Library on Saturday November 8 at 2pm, also to be televised on WFYI, merges the world of the Arts with military service, namely how utilizing creativity helps vets cope with service related issues. i am honored to be joining in at this meaningful event as marine mom, in honor of my son who served & in honor of all the sons and daughters who serve. Do What You Have to Do, my essay published in This I Believe – On Motherhood, & my HuffPost article In Support of Art as Alternate Non-Violent Means of Expression tie in directly with my platform as participant. click here to register for this event.
my goal is to help build on this nuanced awareness, which is intended to walk hand in hand with increased mental health awareness and proactivity.
i speak also for myself as one who has reached to the Arts as both cathartic outlet & social contribution, for anyone out there who might benefit from shared personal experience. the nutshell message is simply this: we are never as alone as we might at times feel. Arts-based expression: the pen and the paintbrush are not only a means to our immortality; they are our bridges to each other.
society, however optimistically poised it tends to be, cannot realistically rely on “fixing” everyone, for that is not how we diverse and complex humans were intended to be. especially in this country, we also deal with macrophagic, share-holder driven medical and pharmaceutical industries whose profit motives and bottom-line machinations only render them less reliable and trust-worthy. outcomes that focus only on the idealized repairing of all “broken” or “non-normal” minds and personalities (as deemed by whom?) are as naive and closed-minded as they are, in the end, costly. on all levels. our “ills,” our “issues” – quirks to quagmires – facet us and make us brilliantly unique and are a part of the individuality that makes us the interesting species that we are. it’s what we do with what we are handed and the choices we make when confronting the most difficult aspects of ourselves that make us who we are and that, under the right circumstances, can be manifested in creative mile markers, not destruction – and even moments of genius.
by keeping the Arts as accessible to all as is possible, by fostering a less violent and more creative social climate, we will promote peaceful assertion and non-violent confidence building. school environments and educational performance will benefit through the well-documented improvements that occur when creativity and the Arts are incorporated into curricula. perhaps schools, the most tragic stages of violent demonstration of all, will become safer places again.
by providing Arts-based avenues and outlets for extreme expression, we will provide alternate means by which to externalize the darkest inner storms of emotion and pain, alternatives to violence and the intentional destruction of place, self or others. at the same time, we give each and every member of society the opportunity to evolve one’s self through their expressiveness, which moves us all forward together.