Arts have long been a tool for social workers, reflecting the passion and voice of those they serve as well as being an instrument for change. Expressive arts in their numerous forms call attention to causes, conditions, and change. The UNE School of Social Work has showcased on its walls the work of a number of artists/art collectives, demonstrating arts as collective social action, as personal narrative and expression, as personal trauma healing, arts to shift economic disparities and to call attention to the clothes we wear and manufacturing and labor practices, to change health care procedure, protocol and policy, arts to honor and uncover acts of gender justice, to distill massive amounts of public health data, to capture our community and culture’s conditions, to disseminate program impact, and to empower youth.
This series of presentations from contributing artists allowed participants to learn about the artists’ processes and engage in in-depth discussion about their craft.
Lilia Bottino and Collyn Baeder
UNE Graduate students Lilia Bottino and Collyn Baeder present this Interprofessional Student-Led Mini Grant Team’s Photovoice project. This project involved the distribution of cameras to women in a refugee community in Portland, Maine, with the aim of enabling them to communicate health-related issues in their community through the visual language of photography.
How can social media be used to change the world? How can it be used to change yourself and rally the community around difficult issues such as homelessness, domestic violence, education, health disparities and more? Cultivate community around difficult issues, such as homelessness, domestic violence, education, health disparities, and more? United Way “LUbrarian”, content strategist, artist and activist Jessica Esch discusses trials and triumphs in using social media for... Read More
Kris Hall and Elizabeth McLellan
Artist Kris Hall and Organizer Elizabeth McLellen discussed the intersection of art and activism, and presented on the use of medical blue wrap as a medium to raise awareness and funding for Partners for World Health. The act of turning trash into treasure is not a new idea, but in this case the medium and the message raise awareness for everything from recycling to the state of health care in third world countries.
Holly Haywood, Cathy Plourde, and Barbara Meldrum
Collaborators Holly Haywood (photographer) and Cathy Plourde (interviewer/writer) invite you to share in a demonstration of using portrait taking and interviewing to curate stories about chronic pain. The project, as seen on the Heal/Tell Blog, is directed to health professionals to better attune them to how the health care system treats chronic pain patients—both the good and what needs to be improved. School of Social Work Barbara... Read More
Bridget McAlonan is the creator of the Feminist Paper Doll Project, aimed at honoring and bringing awareness to the rich history of feminism in the great State of Maine. In presenting both contemporary and historical figures that have contributed to creating equality for the whole society as paper “puppets”, her intent is to disarm any negative preconceptions the viewer might have about feminism. Attendees joined in the conversation and created their own paper dolls.
Artist Arla Patch discusses intergenerational trauma and epistemicide. Arla began using art as a tool for personal healing and transformation from trauma, and has since used arts to work with incarcerated women, at risk teens, women with breast cancer, and adolescent male addicts and alcoholics. She has authored two books, A Body Story and Finding Ground: Girls and Women in Recovery. During this talk, Arla shared the modalities that... Read More
Kevin Simowitz, Kolawole A. Bankole, Elise Pepple, Tommy Waltz, and Donna McNeil
Kevin Simowitz of the Maine People’s Alliance facilitated the roundtable discussion between: Dr. Kolawole A. Bankole, director of the Minority Health Program at Portland Public Health; Smith College Masters in Social Work Student Elise Pepple: USM Masters in Social Work Student Tommy Waltz of the Preble Street Resource Center; and Donna McNeil of Artists In Context and former director of the Maine Arts Commission. The panel highlighted how artists,... Read More
Bruce St. Thomas
Bruce St. Thomas, EdD, ATR-BC, LMFT, LCPC, discusses his diverse therapeutic approaches to trauma, grief, and life transition as utilized at America's Camp, a place for children who lost a parent or sibling as a result of the attacks on September 11 and for children or siblings of firefighters and law enforcement officers lost in the line of duty.
Jan Pieter van Voorst van Beest and Pious Ali
Stemming from the School of Social Work's second Social Justice and Applied Arts Exhibit, photographer Jan Pieter van Voorst van Beest discussed his collection of twenty-five portraits of immigrants who have made the journey to Maine from all over. Pious Ali, one of the participants in the portrait project, also joined the discussion and answered questions.
Danielle F. Wozniak
Explores the trajectory of healing and self-reclamation that occurs following post-traumatic stress that may come from domestic violence. Danielle highlights how arts can expedite the healing process. Participants were given the opportunity to interact with art supplies during this 1-hour session