Tag Archives: Arts

Social change and transformation through theatre, music, painting and other arts.

April 19 – My Journey Through Water

IMG_20180416_112015.jpgAs part of our 30th anniversary celebration at Hesperus yesterday, Regine Kurek led us through a collage exercise.  Although I am never comfortable with anything that involves pencils and gluesticks, I stuck with it (sorry!) and produced my very own piece (on the left.)

This collage hints at the trepidation I am feeling as I prepare for  my program on Thursday evening, April 19th.  Reciting water poems is very invigorating – and a bit scary!  So I hope I get an audience who can carry me through the rough spots…

Here’s a link to the poster.


Not So Bleak After All!

Here’s another great example of how the arts contribute to community mental health.  The arts heighten and intensify the human sensory experience, and remind us that ife isn’t so bleak after all!

CCO Expressive Arts event image

The Expressive Arts Program at Camphill features the work of a group of women who have experienced isolation and who have been exploring new horizons together.  We can learn much from projects like this!

Here is a poster about the Exhibit in Barrie on the afternoon of March 27. Supported by the Canadian Mental Health Foundation and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

The Harp and Healing


We just learned that Rita Costanzi will be giving another concert at Hesperus this Sunday, March 4 at 4pm.  (Program here.)  Not only is Rita a remarkable musician – she is always challenging the boundaries of her art , exploring modalities of theatre, healing and personal transformation.

Of particular interest to Hesperus friends is her loving interest in healing and palliative care.  She has collected some related material on her web page: Harp and Healing.

If you’re free Sunday afternoon, I encourage you to come and experience Rita and the harp in person!


Bringing Theatre To Life

profile_alexkarolyi_mainI met Alex Karolyi several years ago, and was really inspired by her energy and enthusiasm.  Her mission of bringing theatre into everyday settings is so relevant and needed!

Her group has produced several programs at Hesperus Village (where I live,) and each time, folks discover new horizons in their lives.  In other words, we’re not just having a good time at an event, but discovering new possibilities for the future.

At the first edition of the Conversation Cafe last month, Alex interviewed Peter Dennis and Mary Warkentin (with her dog.) We often hear older people interviewing younger people, and it’s really refreshing to have it the other way around.  We do have alot to learn from each other!

Oh, and by the way, Alex will have me in the hotseat this Sunday February 11, along with a female guest… Click the link below to register, and to find the dates for future Conversation Cafes:


I Am Entangled!

doll-7-2-1Overheard last evening at the opening of Constructed Identities:

Separated from ourselves tied together by discarded bits and pieces…This is a gallery with tragedy and joy…Disability is just part of being human – it’s not an adjustment.  Sighted people are afraid of what they can’t imagine…Be in your body and emotions in whatever way makes you comfortable…

How refreshing to be in a roomful of (very diverse) people surrounded by these entangling sculptures!  I also look forward to spending some time in the gallery when it’s a little quieter.  (The exhibit runs until July 6.)

Reel Abilities – Understanding Media In New Ways


Marshall McLuhan wrote Understanding Media in 1964, and 52 years later, we are still struggling to understand. Media literacy is a wicked oxymoron – a contradiction in terms.  I often feel baffled, confused, and even overwhelmed.

What happens when my identity is constructed by disconnected random events?  I felt this way yesterday when I visited the Constructed Identities exhibit at the Tangled Arts Gallery.

What happens when I make choices freely, and guide my life accordingly?  I am learning that people with visible or defined disabilities make great teachers.  For this reason, I am looking forward to the upcoming ReelAbilities Film Festival – understanding media in new ways.

Here are links to trailers for the featured films:

Endless Abilities

A Whole Lott More


The Way He Looks

The Interviewer

Deaf Jam

The Rainbow Kid



Touch Of The Light



Constructing Identities in Mental Health Week


Constructed Identities, an exhibit of new works by Persimmon Blackbridge, opens Wednesday at the new Tangled Arts Gallery in Toronto.  I attended an artist’s talk and preview last evening, and was moved by the experience.  She gives a compelling counter-narrative to many of the messages circulating during Mental Health Week, and the exhibit deserves wider attention.

Readers of this blog will understand why I think the subject of Constructed Identities is so relevant. We so often affix labels to people – often without their consent – and then expect them to conform to our standards of socially-defined sanity.  Rather than helping to heal people, we constrict them. How is it possible for folks to give meaning and direction to their lives, when their very identities are imposed on them from outside?

I am grateful when people with defined disabilities come forward and express themselves, as Persimmon has done.  She helps to wake the rest of us up.  Everyone has disabilities, and it’s the undefined ones – hidden, ignored and denied – that do the most damage.

The opening reception of Constructed Identities is on Wednesday, May 4th, 7-9pm at 401 Richmond St. West.  Maybe I’ll see you there.