Connecting Communities of Resilience Through Art Therapy

February 14, 2019 marks the one-year anniversary of the shooting that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Our goal is to reach communities who are traumatized using art. How do we help ourselves heal, and others recover? A community art exchange is a place to start. Students will create individual imagery on 6” x 6” adhesive vinyl sheets using various media that will then be adhered to mural material and delivered to Parkland, Florida. We believe there is power in numbers and in being remembered. It’s an uplifting, positive, safe way to connect. The Bellmore-Merrick Central High School district community had the opportunity to send messages to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and their families. They must know they are not alone. It is an opportunity to generate hope and come from a place of resilience.

Our aim was to:

    • Promote healing
    • Increase communication with others regarding traumatic events
    • Gain an understanding of community outreach and benefits through art
    • Create a template for connecting communities after a tragedy

Adjunct assistance will be provided by a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist and Creative Arts Therapy Graduate Students from Hofstra University as well as other volunteers. A two-day session was offered to students at Kennedy High School on Tues. Jan 15th, Wed. Jan 16th, 2019. The artifact from this project (the art quilt) will be used to generate public interest and bring attention to this programming and encourage funding for future projects. The experience will be recorded with the hopes of submission for publication and presentation at the 2019 American Art Therapy Conference so other communities may learn from this significant pilot project. Our hope is that future sessions will be held for Long Beach High School, Uniondale High School, and others. 

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