Approximately a month ago a group of some 200 people from across Canada gathered in Ottawa for the Power of the Arts National Forum, co-hosted by the MichaÃ«lle Jean Foundation and Carleton Universityâ€™s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Sharing two days with like-minded individuals, who share my passion for the arts and for individual and community wellbeing was deeply inspiring. I was also encouraged by the number of individuals and organizations in attendance.
While the transformative power of the arts is far from a new idea, and throughout recorded history people have used creative modes of expression as healing rituals, there seems to be renewed public interest in this topic. Daily, we see a new story in one of the mainstream media outlets on the healing and health benefits of the arts.
As I witness this gradual movement of arts, health and social change into the mainstream, I question how the Network can promote increased engagement and participation in arts and health, while at the same time ensure that the movement is not decontextualized and commodified?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. To help continue this conversation, I will start a discussion on our LinkedIn group. But I also encourage you to send us your thoughts via email.
Before I wrap up, for those of you interested in arts and health research, I want to bring your attention to a new Arts Health Network Canada group page that we have started on Mendeley, which is a free reference manager and academic social network. We are using this system to upload, store, and tag academic literature on arts and health. If you have any questions about this database, feel free to email our Knowledge Translation Coordinator Kira.
In the spirit of creativity and wellness,
Executive Director, Arts Health Network Canada BC
Acting Executive Director, Arts Health Network Canada
In celebration of Mental Health Awareness week October 6 to 12th, for this monthâ€™s Snapshot feature we had the privilege to sit down and chat with the multi-talented Victoria Maxwell, a mental health educator/ speaker/ blogger/ performer/ actor/ writer.
Victoria has been sharing her personal experiences with bipolar disorder, anxiety and psychosis in her tremendously endearing, hilarious, and thought-provoking, one-woman plays for healthcare professionals, mental health communities and the public-at-large for nearly 14 years. Her company, Crazy for Life Co., produces four performances: â€œThatâ€™s Just Crazy Talkâ€, â€œFunny You Donâ€™t Look Crazyâ€, â€œCrazy for Lifeâ€, and â€œHead Over Heelsâ€
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