15 February 2012

So much has happened . . . where to begin

After finishing my drama therapy internship at the Institute for Therapy through the Arts I moved to Akron. Many changes in my life and the lives of my family. It's good to be back in the Midwest and back in the Buckeye state. It's true: Once a Buckeye, always a Buckeye!

I'm working at Freedom House, a shelter for formerly homeless veterans. I'm leading a stress reduction workshop series--my second of many more to come. I use all my skills as a drama therapist and incorporate playwriting, dance/movement, drawing, poetry, collage making, music, and more into the storytelling process that occurs in this group setting. I'm also privileged to help attend the flag raising and lowering outside the shelter at sunrise and sundown when I'm working as a housing specialist.

The Vet Art Project is also doing a weekly dance/movement program called BeatRoot at First Grace UCC in Akron. This is a "spiritual journey through movement" where participants come in and explore their feelings through movement inspired by different rhythmic patterns from around the world. We move for an hour--nonstop! Believe it or not you can, too.

The University of Akron is another venue for Vet Art Project programming. We'll be offering workshops for students as part of their Wellness Day program in late March and a program for faculty and staff from this and other area universities in early April.

I've also become a regular participant in Warriors Journey Home circles where veterans, family members, and people of strong heart gather to share in community stories of war and service. (Check out http://www.warriorsjourneyhome.com/)

Also Shianne Eagleheart and her Red Bird Center (http://www.redbirdcenter.org/) is a wonderful healing space that's opened to veterans and family members the last weekend of every month. There's time for sharing, storytelling, art, and healing lodges. And everyone has an opportunity to be refreshed and reconnected to the land and to their brothers and sisters.

There are grand people here in Northeast Ohio and this is a fine foundation to grow strong roots. Stay tuned for further updates as the Vet Art Project continues to transform all who participate in her programming.