Art Healing Trauma

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In case any of you have missed my barrage of messages, entreaties and marketing blitzes, I am appearing in a charity production of The Vagina Monologues on March 28th in Santa Monica, CA. This is the fifth consecutive year that we’ve produced the show to support efforts to end violence against women. Information and tickets can be found here.

The Vagina Monologues - March 28th
The Vagina Monologues – March 28th

The local charity that receives the proceeds from our show is a Venice, CA-based organization called A Window Between Worlds. These wonderful folks sponsor programs that use art to help people who have experienced trauma. Their methods have met with such success over the years that they have recently expanded their mission. Where once they worked exclusively with women and girls, they are now extending their reach to include boys and men, veterans and their families, and the mental health field.

Table filled with art supplies at A Window Between Worlds
Table filled with art supplies at A Window Between Worlds

Every year, AWBW invites our cast to their headquarters so we can see firsthand what they do. Every year, this is one of the highlights of the whole experience for me. Each day I become more attuned to how creativity is an integral part of who I am and how exercising my creativity makes me feel better and helps me to process all that stuff that goes on inside me. It’s a way to explore, to meditate and to heal. If I may be frank, these workshops are fucking awesome.

One of my favorite exercises is when we each take one portion of a drawing of a tree. We decorate our little square in whatever way moves us. Then all the squares are put back together, revealing one multi-dimensional image. It’s a perfect way to illustrate how we are all different, yet we can all come together to create something beautiful.

Before & After
Before & After

AWBW has this fantastic art room that is stocked floor to ceiling with every kind of art supply imaginable – paint, paint brushes, glue, glitter, pipe cleaners, paper, crayons, markers, colored pencils, bits of this and that. It’s exciting to be in and around all this great stuff and fun to explore all these different ways to express ourselves.

Muppet Shrinky Dinks!
Muppet Shrinky Dinks!

Remember Shrinky Dinks? Those fun plastic thingies from our childhood that you put in the oven and they magically shrink?

 

 

 

 

 

Vagina Shrinky Dinks!
Vagina Shrinky Dinks!

Yeah – we make vagina Shrinky Dinks every year and it is AWESOME.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This year our cast made also made a vagina painting together. All of us gathered around this canvas and made what we think looks like a pretty good Art Deco version of a pussy. What do you think?

Art Deco Vagina
Art Deco Vagina

I know I can speak for our entire cast when I say that this workshop is a fun night for us, and makes us appreciate even more what AWBW is doing for survivors out there. They are addressing a problem with a unique and creative solution, and their efforts are making a difference in communities across America, helping to break the silence surrounding violence.

You can help support AWBW AND have a fun night out by coming to see the show! If you aren’t in LA and would like to help, you can also purchase a ticket on behalf of a survivor. Just head over to the event page, click on “contact organizer” and leave a note saying your ticket is for a survivor.  It will allow a woman who might not normally be able to afford to come to the show an opportunity to experience a night of empowerment, community and joy.

IN VAG WE TRUST! Paint on, Vagina Warriors!

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