Arts as Wellness

In a moment, I am going to ask you to pause from reading this post and start thinking about a theater piece, dance show, art exhibit, music session, or literary event that has made an impact on your life. I want you to remember everything about it. How it looked, sounded, felt. After you recall this event, I want you to open your eyes and continue reading. Okay? Now is the moment. Go ahead. Close your eyes and think about it…

Are your eyes open now? Great. Why was this art important to you? Why do you remember it? How did it impact you?

My guess is that you were taken back to a time or a place where you experienced something deeply. This work of art moved you or intrigued you. It made you think. It told a story or helped you gain perspective. Art, in whatever sense it is used, touches people. It reaches out to them where they are and questions their perspective. It moves thoughts from head to heart. It creates something out of nothing. It helps to connect. To enhance. To thrive.

ht4 web picThe First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, once said, “In many cases, a child’s first inspiration through the arts can be a life-changing experience. One creative dance class can open a world of expression and communication. Learning through the arts reinforces critical academic skills in reading, language arts and math, and provides students with the skills to creatively solve problems.” I believe that a marriage between the arts and education could change the face of learning in every community.

For the past four years, I have been lucky enough to be an Actor- Facilitator for Kaiser Permanente’s Arts Integrated Resources and through those years, I have had the opportunity to see how using the arts to share health education can impact the lives of people in the communities we serve.

regina blueMy name is Regina and I am a part of the Experiential Learning Team, lovingly referred to as, ELT. On ELT, we facilitate 3 different programs: Laughaceuticals or Laughter as Wellness, the Care Equity Project, and Confronting Conflict. In these workshops, we guide participants through different exercises, facilitated conversations, and help unearth the knowledge in the room. We strive to reach populations from different backgrounds and disciplines and introduce them to experiential learning. Whether it’s a health care provider going through compassion fatigue, or a middle school student struggling with conflict, or a teacher needing laughter support, we are there.

regina and bettyI became an artist because of my love for the arts…

And…

I joined Kaiser Permanente’s Arts Integrated Resources team because I believe that, together, the alliance between arts and education can change people’s lives.

 

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