Archive for the 'social action' Category

Trauma Informed Perspectives on Human Trafficking Awareness

February 3, 2018

Last month I attended the annual NEO National Human Trafficking Day Conference hosted by The Renee Jones Empowerment Center. This yearly offering always is a valuable offering for mental health professionals, educators, advocates, law enforcement, and healthcare workers to gain important information and community resources about the realities of human trafficking in NE Ohio, prevention, programs, and services.

This year’s conference focused on many trauma informed topics and here are a few of the resources I took away from parts of the day:

  • Law Clinic– Case Western Reserve University law student Mercedes Gurney presented about the topic of her research, re-victimization of survivors and how criminalization of prostitution fails victims. Victims are coerced by perpetrators into prostitution and other illegal acts that they are often arrested for and charged with.  You can learn more about the criminalization of human trafficking and issues victims face from this article and the Trafficking Victims Advocacy Project. When recovering survivors attempt to re-enter back into the community and start a new life, this legal trail of offensives and history of convictions can significantly and negatively impact employment, housing, and other aspects of recovery. This article, What Happens When a Human Trafficking Victim is “Rescued” also speaks to how re-traumatization can take place after someone leaves their trafficker and the lack of trauma informed care available to meet their needs. Ohio’s Safe Harbor Law allows victims of human trafficking to receive help for their criminal past and obtain legal services that would expunge and remove any previous convictions. This process creates a clean slate for survivors without their past impacting their ability to get a job, schooling, housing, or have a negative influence on future goals and opportunities. A portion of Mercedes’ presentation however, introduced the realities of expungement in the digital age and how physical criminal records can be erased and sealed, but there is no affirmative legal duty to update electronic information that becomes available through the Internet on websites, databases, digital newspapers, social media, media forums, or search engines. This means that someone’s expunged past criminal history (or even arrests where charges were dropped or unsubstantiated reports) can continue to live online for anyone who does a Google search for the individual’s name, such as an employer, landlord, etc.  As we know, removing or regulating content published on the Internet is very difficult.

To learn more about digital expungement and rehabilitation, watch this video below:

Resources available in Ohio to help survivors with expungement and legal services:

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  • Trauma Informed Care– A presentation by SANE Nurse and Coordinator Kathleen Hackett from University Hospital’s Rainbow Babies & Children offered attendees an overview of trauma informed care and what this means in regards to treatment. She highlighted the importance of viewing trauma as an experience (what happened to you? vs what is wrong with you?) that has an impact on the survivor’s entire well-being and how we can be trauma informed in our work through realizing, responding, recognizing, and resisting:

Realize: Awareness to trauma reactions as normal reactions to abnormal situations and the effects of these responses emotionally, physically, cognitively, and behaviorally.

Respond: Implementing a survivor approach that respects not only trauma as an experience, but that this experience is unique to each person, including any cultural, historical, or gender related ways of coping.  Trauma informed responding also is aware the immense importance of safety, safety planning, and establishing safety as a core foundation to treatment. Trauma informed care also includes validating and empowering survivors towards recovery and healing.

Recognize: Trauma informed work understands and sees the signs and symptoms of trauma. In relationship to human trafficking, this also includes the external and internal factors that put individuals at risk and vulnerable to trafficking.

Resist: Trauma informed care resists systems, approaches, services, and practices that put survivors at risk for re-traumatization.

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Released with permission

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The entire conference was a full day of knowledge…I continue to learn more about the complexities of human trafficking, services and programs available, and effective, trauma informed ways victims and survivors can receive help, hope, and healing.  The next program offering I am looking forward to attending is the 2nd Annual Human Trafficking Awareness Youth Prevention Summit on March 23 at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus. State Representative Teresa Fedor (District 45-Toledo) is again bringing students together from around Ohio to be a part of discussions about self-esteem and health, social media, legislation and highlight the role of students and young people in the fight to end all forms of trafficking. I will be helping offer an art experience for youth attendees to use creative expression as a form of advocacy and awareness against trafficking.  Looking forward to another day of learning and awareness….

Related Posts:

Human Trafficking in Art: Expressions of Truth, Courage, Resilience, & Recovery

Reflections on Art Therapy, Trauma, & Group Work

2017 Ohio Youth Summit: A Day of Awareness, Prevention, and Advocacy

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2017 Creative Inspiration in Art Therapy, Advocacy, and the Arts

December 26, 2017

In this post I want to offer some of the silver linings I’ve tweeted or retweeted this year, with attention to the arts, creativity, advocacy, and art therapy.  There have been several positive moments, messages, and accomplishments that I have found hopeful and encouraging… some light among the events and challenges 2017 has seen.

  • The American Art Therapy Association recently published this 2017 review of art therapy achievements in public awareness, advocacy, organizational statements, campaigns, and professional development seen this year on state and federal levels and within the Association;
  • This early 2017 article Creative Collaboration is What Humans Do Best speaks to the power of creativity and imagination to help us proactively and collectively work together on the challenges we experience. This piece encourages us to use our interconnectedness for constructively solving problems and activate successful solutions.  These empowering words were a great read and reminder to help counteract experiences of division and sense of powerlessness or helplessness we may face;
  • This summer I blogged about the US Department of Arts and Culture’s Guide to Artistic Response to Natural Disasters and Social Emergencies as a creative action resource. Also worth bringing attention to are other opportunities on the USDAC site available for art citizens who want to make a social impact with their creative expression.  The next event happening is the People’s State of the Union, an annual civic ritual and participatory art project if you are interested in getting involved!
  • Throughout this year, the Americans for the Arts has blogged on many current topics impacting the arts, artists, and communities, as well as ways for arts advocates to get involved in, support, and how to reach out policy makers and legislators about matters involving social change, leadership, community engagement, arts business, and more. A really valuable presentation I attended at the 2017 American Art Therapy Association conference in November was a legislative advocacy and lobbying information session led by Senior Director of State and Local Government Affairs at Americans for the Arts Jay Dick. This session presented positive ways art therapists can leverage legislator relationships to meet licensure and advocacy goals;

  • Also in November the Americans for the Arts reported that $150 million has been proposed for National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for Humanities funding in 2018.  This news was a huge win for arts advocacy efforts, as it was recommended by the current administration that funding for these vital government programs be completely eliminated. These monies will also continue to fund NEA’s Creative Forces, a military healing arts network, which includes art therapy services for veterans and service members;
  • Art Therapist Lani Gerity’s 2017 blog posts (#157-#171) Out of A Thousand Ways to Have a Happy Artist’s Life series has also highlighted much needed reminders about how the arts, creativity, and imagination can be used to help us be more resilient, kinder, and peaceful when facing dark and unsettling times.

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I wish you a 2018 full of artful abundance and creative spirit…. Happy New Year to you and yours!

Creative Action Link Round Up: Self-Care, Responsibility, Community

August 20, 2017

 Social media is a powerful tool for self expression and engagement of all kinds…giving a voice for many and often a way to cast attention, influence, and respond to causes, values, and efforts we hold dear or reject.

Below are some links I have been reading, saving, and sharing from and on social media recently. Most are rooted in self-care, individual influence and responsibility, and creative community action through the arts. Many offer ways we can effectively activate resources, ideas, and our gifts both on and offline with others (and ourselves) as artists, creatives, mental health professionals, helpers, and human beings.

Self-Care:

Influence:

The Arts, Social Action, and Community Response:

Related Links:

Creative Resilience Link Round Up

20 Creative Quotes on Courage, Hope, & Possibility

Perseverance and Arts Advocacy

March 19, 2017

This week the White House unveiled its budget proposal, which included completely defunding and eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts.  This distressing news about the NEA and other programs that champion culture & humanities in the United States have increased art advocacy efforts into high gear to save the arts.

The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) issued this statement about how defunding the NEA will effect clients who receive art therapy services from NEA sponsored programs and includes ways art therapists and art therapy supporters can take action.  Contact legislators and let the US Congress (who approves the budget) to reject this proposed elimination of the NEA.  This action alert from the Americans for the Arts includes an easy way to contact officials and you can also sign their petition to support the arts in America. The Atlantic, in its news piece The Real Cost of Abolishing the National Endowments for the Arts, states that “this kind of work can and should be bipartisanand cites Second Lady Karen Pence’s interest in raising awareness for art therapy as her official cause as an example.

Art Advocacy Day in DC (tomorrow and Tuesday, March 20 & 21) will be an important opportunity for art communities, organizations, and advocates to come together to share and showcase the critical role the arts has in everyone’s lives. The AATA is again one of the partnering organizations supporting these efforts.

 Learn more about the arts wide reaching impact in this NEA video:

Here in my home state, the Ohio Arts Council released this statement from Executive Director Donna S. Collins which offered hopeful considerations to keep in mind during these challenging times, including these words:

“We are nowhere near the end of the road for the NEA or public support of the arts… Stay calm, remain strong, and be confident. The NEA has weathered these types of debates before, and together, the arts community will persevere.”

Additional Reading:

NEA Chairwoman Jane Chu | NEA on Facebook

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2017 Ohio Youth Summit: A Day of Awareness, Prevention, and Advocacy

February 5, 2017

Youth Summit: Awareness, Prevention, and Advocacy | creativity in motion

On Friday, February 3rd I was able to participate in the 1st Annual Ohio Human Trafficking Youth Prevention Summit held in Columbus at the Ohio Statehouse. The event was hosted by Representative Theresa Fedor as an additional event to the 8th Annual Ohio Human Trafficking Awareness Day held in the Capitol the day before.  Over 200 high school and college students from all over Ohio (Toledo, Columbus, Cleveland, Akron, Dayton, Cincinnati, and surrounding areas) came together to become more aware of and advocate for human trafficking prevention.

The agenda for the day was full of inspiring speakers and creative activities aimed at providing education and a message of action to youth about how to get involved in this important issue and learn how to protect themselves and their peers from being at-risk. At the Summit Representative Fedor also introduced a new bill that would help protect 16 and 17 year old youth from human trafficking with this announcement.

Survivors and advocates gave voice to and shared their experiences with students through poetry, music, performance, and panel discussions. This included Poet Quynterra Eskridge, Rapper Archie Green, and national speaker, author, and educator Dr. Elaine Richardson, who performed her one woman show PHD to PhD: How Education Saved My Life.  The day’s events also included a panel moderated by Renee Jones of statewide professionals representing the fields of public health, law enforcement, policy, and juvenile justice.  It was an honor to be included with this very knowledgeable line up to share my role at the Renee Jones Empowerment Center offering art therapy for survivors and at risk teens as part of Ursuline ArtSpace Outreach.

The day concluded with a break out session for students with the University of Dayton and for educators with Abolition Ohio. A valuable resource that was shared for educators and other professionals working with youth to implement prevention programming was this guide published by the Ohio Attorney General.

Youth Summit: Awareness, Prevention, and Adocacy | creativity in motion

A full day of important information, performances, and learning

Also available throughout the Summit was art making that invited students to creatively contribute a pledge hand in response to standing up to human trafficking and bringing awareness- many positive and encouraging messages were created by youth in attendance as part of this project in the Ohio Statehouse Atrium.

Youth Summit: Awareness, Prevention, and Advocacy

Students were invited to contribute to group art pieces.

Thank you to Representative Fedor for hosting this event for the wellbeing of Ohio’s youth and the Renee Jones Empowerment Center in helping with organizing the event’s offerings.  It was an inspiring day full of information, strategies, help, and hope.

For additional resources, please visit these regional and national sites:

Related Posts

Awareness, Prevention, & Recovery Made Visible: 2015 NE Ohio Human Trafficking Symposium, Project Red Cord, & Teen Summit

Human Trafficking in Art: Expressions of Truth, Courage, Resilience, & Recovery

Creating Hope: NE Ohio Human Trafficking Symposium

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Make Paper, Make Peace

March 22, 2016

Earlier this month Drew Matott and I taught another Peace Paper papermaking, trauma intervention and social action course- this one for Counseling and Art Therapy graduate students at Ursuline College.  It was fun to teach together again over 2 days and introduce the 26 students we had to the therapeutic benefits of papermaking.

Make Paper, Make Peace | creativity in motionMake Paper, Make Peace | creativity in motion

Students were introduced to the work and travels of Peace Paper, its history and mission to collaborate with the art therapy community, and a variety of examples about how papermaking can be used with many different populations- especially in relationship to trauma, loss, & recovery, as well as bring awareness to issues related to mental health, sexual assault, and bullying.

Make Paper, Make Peace | creativity in motion

Students made lots of paper over the course of the workshop– probably at least 150 sheets (!) and experimented with pulp printing, double couching, and book binding.  Paper was first made using Peace Paper’s Hollander Beater from meaningful articles of clothing or a piece of fabric that students brought and wanted to transform into paper… as a new beginning or as an act of letting go of something.  Students also were introduced to DIY papermaking without the use of a Hollander, to explore adaptable options in the art therapy setting.

Make Paper, Make Peace | creativity in motion

What a great couple of days making paper with this group!

If you’re interested in Peace Paper’s trainings and workshops throughout the rest of 2016, check out the tour schedule here.  News about Peace Paper and resources for papermaking can be found here.

Make paper, make peace!

Related Posts

When It’s Hot…Make Some Paper!

Nepalese Style Peace Paper On the Go

Peacemaking & DIY Papermaking

 

Awareness, Prevention, & Recovery Made Visible: 2015 NE Ohio Human Trafficking Symposium, Project Red Cord, & Teen Summit

August 8, 2015

This week I was grateful that I was able to attend the 6th Annual North East Ohio Human Trafficking Symposium organized by the Renee Jones Empowerment Center (RJEC).  This day full of learning and information spotlights the serious realities of human trafficking in the NE Ohio area, including programs, services, and resources available to victims and survivors, as well as the role of awareness & prevention.  Below is a brief summary of the day, which included a lot of content about youth & human trafficking:

Awareness, Prevention, & Recovery Made Visible: 2015 NE Ohio Human Trafficking Symposium, Project Red Cord, & Teen Summit | creativity in motion

Renee Jones Empowerment Center Services

Awareness, Prevention, & Recovery Made Visible: 2015 NE Ohio Human Trafficking Symposium, Project Red Cord, & Teen Summit | creativity in motion

Know Human Trafficking

 The day kicked off with the Symposium’s Judicial Track, which included information presented by Bianca Smith who serves as an Assistant Bailiff for Juvenile Court in Cuyahoga County.  Her presentation focused on the County’s Safe Harbor Pilot Project.  This project supports Ohio’s Safe Harbor Law that was passed in 2012 and includes, but not limited to offering treatment-based diversion programs for youth trafficking victims, stiffer charges & sentences for convicted traffickers, and training among law enforcement about human trafficking.  In the County’s Juvenile Court, the project is helping to identify youth that can be helped from the pilot project, collaborating with area agencies, such as the RJEC and others to meet programming needs and provide a continuum of care that is trauma informed.

The Symposium’s next track focused on a new program that has been launched by RJEC this year called Men of Purpose. This pilot project includes a partnership with the Ohio Department of Youth Services at the Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Correctional Facility. This weekly program offers training sessions on human trafficking awareness and prevention to young men, as an effort to address and reduce the demand of human trafficking.  The young men involved in this project presented an overview of what they have learned, its outreach impact with their peers, and what boys and men can do to prevent human trafficking.  Last month I was able to meet these remarkable young men to see the programming & facilitators Sheldon Lovejoy & Matt Goins in action, when I visited to speak about art therapy and group work facilitated at RJEC.  It’s great to see the success of this programming and dealing with a component important to breaking the cycle of human trafficking.

Awareness, Prevention, & Recovery Made Visible: 2015 NE Ohio Human Trafficking Symposium, Project Red Cord, & Teen Summit | creativity in motion

The Symposium’s Law Update included information about Ohio’s human trafficking laws presented by Maureen Kenny, Professor of Law with the Case Western Reserve School of Law.  As a result of new human trafficking laws in the state of Ohio, more services, training, and data collection is taking place- especially in the areas of Cuyahoga, Franklin, and Lucas counties.

Maya Simek, Director of Programs at the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland provided content for the Symposium’s Treatment & Programs track, introducing awareness and advocacy for LGBTQ youth and young adults and in relationship to human trafficking risks and vulnerability.

Another very valuable track to the Symposium includes allowing Survivors to share their story and journey of recovery.  Rachel Kasik, a Survivor Speaker for RJEC, shared her experience with the audience through a powerful visual timeline that used photography.

The Law Enforcement track featured Detective John Morgan from the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department and  highlighted the role of police involvement. This summer, MSNBC did filming in Cleveland for their series Sex Slaves: Fighting Human Trafficking, which chronicles the front lines of law enforcement’s fight to stop human trafficking, create a better understand of this crime to stop it, and how victims can escape from it and seek help & recovery.

The Symposium concluded the day with an overview behind the economics behind human trafficking presented by Matt Goins and an Agent from Ohio’s Investigative Unit for the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Kim Bartholomew.  They offered attendees an awareness about the twisted commodity influence behind human trafficking within the US and internationally, including the trafficking of youth victims. This video the presenters showed provided a perspective into this dark reality:

A mission of RJEC’s Project Red Cord includes offering services (including art therapy!) and resources to prevent teens from becoming victims of human trafficking. An upcoming event to support this effort includes the Center’s 1st annual Prevention and Awareness Teen Summit scheduled for next month.  This free event will be a day of information & empowerment presented in a creative way to arm and equip teens with knowledge and prevention strategies that will help protect them from becoming a victim.

Awareness, Prevention, & Recovery Made Visible: 2015 NE Ohio Human Trafficking Symposium, Project Red Cord, & Teen Summit | creativity in motion

If you are in the NE Ohio area and work with an agency or organization that serves youth ages 13-19, you are invited to check out and spread the word about this September event that will be held at the Near West Center in Cleveland’s Gordon Square Arts District. There are also opportunities for individuals or organizations to get involved with donating items needed for the Summit:  Check out RJEC’s Facebook page for more information about help that is needed.

I am excited that part of the Summit will include community art-making with art therapists to help strengthen the teens’ sense of self & give a voice to their hopes & dreams for the future.  There will also be lots of other opportunities for creative expression such as music, dance, poetry, performance, and more! An artful and meaningful day of advocacy & empowerment is planned. Pre- registration is required and can be done by contacting Traci Grasso at tgrasso.rjec@yahoo.com.

Thank you to RJEC and all of this year’s Symposium speakers for this valuable day of learning!

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Related Posts:

Human Trafficking in Art: Expressions of Truth, Courage, Resilience, & Recovery

Creating Hope: NE Ohio Human Trafficking Symposium

Reflections on Art Therapy, Trauma, & Group Work

Top 10 Memorable Minneapolis Art Therapy Moments

July 23, 2015

It’s taken me a couple of weeks to decompress and get into gear again after attending the 2015 American Art Therapy Association Conference in Minneapolis, but I wanted to share some of the memorable moments from the week– it was a schedule full of learning, presenting, re-connecting, meeting new faces, & inspiration that was well spent.

Top 10 Memorable Minneapolis Art Therapy Moments | creativity in motion

Here’s my Top 10 Memorable Moments (in no particular order):

1.  The Art Therapy Parade of awesome pioneer and inspiring art therapists that was creatively handcrafted by the Local Arrangements Committee for the Opening Session. Wow– this was great!

Top 10 Memorable Minneapolis Art Therapy Moments | creativity in motion

Top 10 Memorable Minneapolis Art Therapy Moments | creativity in motion

2. Temple Grandin’s Keynote on neurobiological functioning & information processing.  Dr. Grandin offered an inspiring lecture highlighting the sensory based value of art-making & creative expression with visual and “bottom up” thinking- and its unique role in helping make sense of information and experiences. Learn more here from her book “Thinking in Pictures”.  Really enjoyed the opportunity to meet Dr. Grandin as well!

Top 10 Memorable Minneapolis Art Therapy Moments | creativity in motion

3. So many great educational sessions to take in, not enough time to see everything!  Honorable mentions include the Edith Kramer Legacy and Decolonizing Art Therapy: Social Justice & New Paradigms of Care Plenaries.

4. Tribute to Don Jones with Art is Life is Art  by Bruce Moon- Earlier in 2015, the art therapy community mourned the passing of Buckeye Art Therapy Association Founder and all around amazing art therapy pioneer Don Jones.  During the AATA conference there were special moments to celebrate Don’s life and important contributions to the field, which also included being one of AATA’s co-founders and early President.  Highlights from Art is Life is Art reviewing Don’s life was a beautiful and heartfelt tribute to Don’s spirit, life, and work among a community of friends & colleagues who miss and cherish him so much!

Top 10 Memorable Minneapolis Art Therapy Moments | creativity in motion

5. Mary Tyler Moore Statue- An offsite break to Minneapolis’ Mary Tyler Moore Statue was a must go to site after a day of conference attending- only a few blocks away.

Top 10 Memorable Minneapolis Art Therapy Moments | creativity in motion

6. #AATA2015 photos with friends & colleagues and following conference live tweeting and activity on social media.

Top 10 Memorable Minneapolis Art Therapy Moments | creativity in motion

7. Standing room only @ our paper making panel about trauma & transformation and work with Peace Paper- Many thanks to everyone who was able to attend and to my panel colleagues! It was great to share our experiences and the therapeutic uses of paper making as part of the conference program– and see all the interest in this process! Thank you to Drew & Margaret who gifted us with hundreds of sheets of limited edition handmade paper especially made for conference attendees to take home with them.

Top 10 Memorable Minneapolis Art Therapy Moments | creativity in motion

Top 10 Memorable Minnesota Art Therapy Moments | creativity in motion

Top 10 Memorable Minnesota Art Therapy Moments | creativity in motion

8. Creative Deed 365 Minneapolis– I’ll be sharing more soon about this artful event as part of my monthly posting about this 365 project, but this was definitely a fun part of my conference experience this year— leaving creative deeds, receiving creative deeds, and seeing the discovery of creative deeds by other attendees. 🙂

9. Arts & Crafts Marketplace– The Marketplace was packed full of wonderful handmade goods and art by art therapists available for purchase!  I scored much creative goodness with buying a series of Lani Gerity’s morning pages (yay!):

Top 10 Memorable Minnesota Art Therapy Moments | creativity in motion

10. Time to Refresh & Renew-  Spending time in presentations, making art, meeting up with friends & colleagues, as well as making new connections and taking in all things art therapy was great to be around on many levels.  All the collective work and service that continues to be done on behalf of art therapy is inspiring to take in and be a part of.

In wrapping up this post, I’ll leave with this Edith Kramer quote and featured in her legacy plenary session:

“Making art is my destiny- art therapy is my beloved profession.”

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6 Degrees of Creativity 2015 Workshop Reveal!

May 2, 2015

Excited to be organizing another round of 6 Degrees of Creativity workshops! Get ready for a new wave of creative goodness!

6 Degrees of Creativity

6 Degrees of Creativity Workshops | Registration Now Open!6 Degrees of Creativity’s online workshop offerings unite concepts of social networking, connecting, collaboration, art making, and creativity into a community of artists exploring transformation and creative goodness. It is a self guided (which means you can go at your own pace!) 6 month virtual experience running from July – December 2015 that includes a collection of inspiring offerings, designed by a group of instructors from the art therapy community.

The basic foundation of 6 Degrees of Creativity empowers the idea that we are all closely connected in some way and believe in the potential to make a difference through the power of art and creativity in our own lives, relationships, communities, and world. 6 Degrees of Creativity instructors, who are all active and engaged in their own art-making practice, will offer creative expression to explore and empower these themes.

Participants will be able to choose what offerings they will…

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Compassion & Creativity

September 24, 2014

I just finished participating in this year’s Compassion Games with a team I organized through the 6 Degrees of Creativity community. Our Creative Deed Team included a dozen a.maz.ing members from all over the globe! For 11 days, we worked on a series of artful acts that I sent out each day of the games to inspire kindness & compassion.  You can view the prompts for each of the Creative Deeds here.

Compassion & Creativity | creativity in motion

12 Days of Creative Deeds

For the team’s first creative deed, I thought it would be a nice start to have each of us photograph a heart in the palm of our hand, as a symbol and offering of compassion.  Below is a pic I took of my hand holding a glittery paper heart in my creative space, with a quote connected to service, compassion, and supporting of others.

Compassion & Creativity | creativity in motion

Show Us Your Heart

For our second Creative Deed, Chalking it Up for Compassion, it was pretty dreary, damp, and cold on my end, but getting out my sidewalk chalk & pastels to work on a rock I chose to create a message of compassion on, helped brighten the environment.  My chalk art was inspired by the Dalai Lama quote, “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.

Chalk It Up for Compassion

Chalk It Up for Compassion

My love for making wordles and word clouds inspired Day 3’s Creative Deed, as team members were encouraged to experiment with free, online sites like Wordle, Tagxedo, and Word It Out to create Compassion inspired word art.  My image was made using Tagxedo (love their shapes), using words from the quotes that inspired me during Day 1 and 2.

Compassion Wordclouding

Compassion Wordclouding

Operation Random Acts of Creative Kindness inspired Creative Deed Day 4 and I made this art tag that I hung on a telephone poll along one of the busiest walking streets my city.  My hope is that someone spotted it, took it, and enjoyed it!  On the back side of the tag is the A.A. Milne quote, “You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

Compassion & Creativity | creativity in motion

Operation Random Acts of Creative Kindness

Day 5’s Creative Deed was inspired by a concept introduced in Seattle for the Compassion Games, in which individuals are nominated as Compassion All Stars. The Creative Deed Team nominated individuals in our lives and then made an award to recognize him/her.  I nominated Lani Gerity as a Compassion All Star I am grateful to have in my creative life as a friend & colleague— Just visit Lani’s blog to take in all her compassionate and artful ways.

Compassion All Star Award

Compassion All Star Award

The next day the Creative Deed Team embarked on a Compassion & Creativity Quote Hunt and we used online programs like Recite and Quozio to transform these words into graphic designed images.   I chose one of my favorite resiliency based quotes from Ben Orki that I often use as an affirmation in my work.

Compassion & Creativity Quote Hunt

Compassion & Creativity Quote Hunt

Day 7’s Creative Deed was dedicated to celebrating everything and anything awesome through making Compassion Cards of Awesomeness for ourselves & others.  I stashed this Creative Deed message inside a random book.  I think there is much power and strength in this quote.

Compassion Cards of Awesomeness

Compassion Cards of Awesomeness

Our next Creative Deed was inspired by one of the ways the Compassion Games invites participants to play:  as Secret Agents of Compassion.  The Creative Deed Team embarked on a mission dedicated to showing compassion to the earth and to capture our observations & reflections related to interrelatedness through photography. My photo was about the transitioning of summer into fall and its connection to letting go & how from this state of dying; new life & growth follows…. even if we have to get through the winter first and I am grateful for this process…

Secret Agent of Compassion: Nature Mission

Secret Agent of Compassion: Nature Mission

Day 9’s Creative Deed focused on mandala making with a compassion theme.  A recent photo I took of a candle and its flame reminded me of a light bearing mandala and how light (giving & receiving) can bring an awareness of hope & clarity  in times of distress and despair.

Compassion Mandala

Compassion Mandala

Sticky notes were transformed into Compassion Art on Day 10 as a way to publicly display positive messages of kindness.  I left my sticky note art of hope on a restroom mirror  in one of my favorite roadside travel stops on the way home from a trip.  It included a message to have, trust, believe, and embrace hope.

Compassion Sticky Note Art

Compassion Sticky Note Art

The final day of the Compassion Games ended on September 21, International Day of Peace.  The Creative Deed Team reflected on this CG post and was encouraged to create a Peace Flag to symbolize the power of peace, as well as what peace symbolizes to us and for the world.  I used small fabric swatches to create a series of flags using fabric markers, acrylic paint, sharpies and ballpoint ink with some hand sewing.

International Day of Peace Flag

International Day of Peace Flag

It was not only meaningful and lots of creative fun to work on each of these days for the Compassion Games and to share these good vibes & intentions with others, but it was also really wonderful to connect with everyone on the Creative Deed team through art, service, and reflection over these 11 days. Lots of creative goodness!!  I am appreciative of my teammates’ dedication & thoughtfulness, as well as the passion, support, and organization from the Compassion Games. Good times!

You can see the entire Creative Deed Team Collection on Facebook here.

And check out the scientific benefits & origins of compassion from the Charter for Compassion.

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Related Posts:

Wow! 2014 Games Are Behind Us, Now it’s Time to Celebrate and Share!

Wrap Up: Creative Deeds in Action @ the 2014 Compassion Games over at 6 Degrees of Creativity

Compassion Games 2014: Team 6 Degrees of Creativity Creative Deeds Go Global

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