Upcoming workshops, lectures, conferences, and more.
Sponsored by The Creativity Commons, The Global Center and the Institute for Arts and Health at Lesley UniversityYou are invited to join us for The Global Arts Series, featuring arts based approaches initiated by Lesley University faculty and other international experts. In the global society in which we live, the arts open pathways to understanding and communication between peoples. In addition, the arts are channels for creativity and celebration, mitigate the effects of stress and trauma and are known to facilitate innovative spaces for emotional release. The arts can provide people a tangible result for their efforts in a relative short time, actions that can take place through individual or collective effort. Join us to circumnavigate the globe using the arts as our compass for exploration!Cold Water: The Women of Lira, UgandaProfessor Julia ByersMonday, January 27, 2014 from 12-1pmDr. Julia Byers will present her work and recent research, sponsored by a USF foundation grant, which provided psychosocial support for the women and girls of the town of Lira, Uganda.Once nicknamed “the jewel of the north,” Lira is now struggling to recover from one of Africa’s longest-running civil wars. The near 20-year conflict was led by rebel guerilla and self-proclaimed “spokesperson of God,” Joseph Kony, whose Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) raided villages, burned homes, slaughtered civilians, and recruited child soldiers through abductions from the villages and schools of northern Uganda. Thousands of children were robbed of their childhood and, in many cases, of life itself. Boys and girls were turned into killers who became seared by the atrocities they saw and were forced to commit. Children as young as ten years old were taught to kill, often beginning with their own families. During the height of the war, an estimated 20,000 fled to Lira in search of safety from the threat of the LRA.Dr. Byers has participated in international relief activities and interventions in humanitarian art therapy in over 16 countries around the world. She will present some of her findings in the voices of women's narratives. These women are leaders in helping local girls, orphans and abductees revive their sense of empowerment and achievement.Afghan Voices, Afghan PerspectivesProfessor Louise Pascale and Qais Akbar OmarThursday, February 6, 2014 from 5-6:30pm We often hear about Afghanistan, although it is usually a story told from one perspective. This unique presentation will provide you with the opportunity to broaden your understanding of Afghanistan and the Afghan people by hearing stories about Afghanistan that are told from various viewpoints. Louise Pascale, Founder and Director of the Afghan Children’s Songbook Project, will share her story of living in Afghanistan in the late 60’s, returning 40 years later in 2009, and from this experience creating the Songbook Project for Afghan children. Qais Akbar Omar, author of the acclaimed The Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story will share quite a different story. He will relate his experience of escaping with his family from Afghanistan during the Civil War and Taliban occupation and finding his life’s work in carpet making and writing. The program will also include the voices of Afghan students studying in the U.S. This is an opportunity to go beyond the ‘single story’ to gain a broader perspective of the beauty of Afghanistan and its people.OneWorld Classrooms: Igniting Cross Cultural Understanding Through the ArtsPaul Hurteau and Cristina Llerena from OneWorld ClassroomsThursday, February 27 from 12-1pm
Paul Hurteau, founder of OneWorld Classrooms, and Cristina Llerena, Boston140 curator and teaching artist, will present the completion of a OneWorld Classrooms Global Arts Residency, funded by an Edvestors grant. The initial phase of the project was completed at the James Otis Elementary School in East Boston. In collaboration with James Otis’ teachers, Cristina conducted a residency, which included teaching photography, to second and third grade students, in some cases, including SEI classroom setups. This project explored identity with the hopes of igniting cultural awareness through the camera. In the halls of the Otis School, The Global Arts Residency opened with OneWorld Classrooms’ Boston 140 exhibition.
Eesti CATS: Creative Aging Therapeutic Services of EstoniaProfessor Raquel Chapin StephensonWednesday, March 5 from 12-1pm The goal of the Eesti CATS: Creative Aging Therapeutic Services of Estonia project was to develop a new and efficient social service, test it and ensure sustainable provision of this service. The direct target were elderly people with a mild or severe degree of dementia, their caregivers–family members and social care workers and creative and occupational therapists working with them. The indirect target group was the whole Estonian society, since an important task of the project was to provide information about the disease and opportunities offered by creative arts therapy in this field. This was the first project of its kind in Estonia, with project activities taking place in Tallinn, but the outcomes applicable all over Estonia. The project was tied to the national priorities and strategic goals of Estonia addressing the aging of the Estonian population and a high proportion of elderly people in the population. The project leader was Tallinn University, working in partnership with three social centers of Tallinn that offer day care services and three nursing homes. In this presentation, Stephenson will give an overview of aging in Estonia, including cultural and historical factors that are essential to understanding the unique experiences of older adults in Estonia. She will discuss the inspiration for the project and it’s goals, along with some of the challenges implementing the program and training professionals. Lastly, she will discuss the impact of the program on the social houses and nursing homes that hosted the program, along with the individuals who participatedThe Art of PeaceProfessor Gene DiazWednesday, April 30 from 12-1pmCreating a community-oriented culture of peace in Medellin, Colombia requires more than desire, it demands imagination, innovation, risk-taking, and a dedication to learning different ways to communicate through the arts. These elements come together in the project known as DESEARTE PAZ, which began in Medellin in 2005 when a series of separate arts education and social transformation projects merged conceptually in the minds of their creators, and later in actual practice and implementation in several locations around the city. Governmental, cultural arts and academic organizations that were working in parallel over several years found a common home in DESEARTE PAZ where they together now focus on fostering a culture of peace through the implementation of community arts programs with a pedagogical component. In Spanish DESEARTE PAZ is a composite of “de ese arte paz” which translates literally as “from this art, peace,” but the composite also brings with it the root of the verb “to desire” offering “desiring peace.” The arts can transform communities in different ways, and this project illustrates how that can take place. Sociologist Seana Lowe supports this perspective “Although sociological research on community art is relatively new, the existing empirical evidence supports the belief that the arts can be transformative.” This presentation will offer an overview of the program in Colombia and discuss the international network that has been created from it.These Stories Are Burning a Hole in my Brain: Working with the Ethiopian Community in Nes Ziona, IsraelProfessor Vivien Marcow SpeiserMonday, May 5 from 12-1pm From 2006-2008, The Lesley University Extension Program in Israel developed three pilot projects in collaboration with the municipal leadership and Ethiopian immigrants in the town of Nes Ziona, Israel. These projects included: working with Post Army Youth through Drama and Empowerment; art therapy with unwed mothers; and Building A Future, a youth summit. This presentation will address how each of these pilot programs acknowledged the extreme difficulties faced by the Ethiopian immigrants, local residents, and the town leaders. Each pilot brought together community members with the hope of changing perceptions, increasing youth opportunities, and uncovering insights and solutions to problems faced by the Ethiopian community in Nes Ziona.
Arts and Global Health: Art, Memory, and Testimony in the Aftermath of TraumaThe 5th Annual Arts in Healthcare Conference at Lesley UniversityApril 11-12, 2014How might the arts facilitate an awareness, expression and processing of powerful feelings such as fear, anger, and grief, and help communities heal and advocate for their needs in the aftermath of trauma? This conference, open to all clinicians, educators, artists, activists, students, clergy and community leaders, offers several perspectives and approaches to dealing with violence through the arts. Participants will learn strategies from experts in the field who have used the arts to help address issues of conflict in their professional practices and communities, and will gain an understanding for the implementation of these strategies through experiential engagement in arts processes.
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