ICYMI: Art Is a Catalyst for Healing

"What if I told you that we all possess the power to heal and transform how trauma manifests in our bodies? Further, music, art, and creative expressions are portals through which we can activate our power to heal," said Nineequa Blanding for Nonprofit Quarterly. "According to Dr. Sará King— neuroscientist, medical anthropologist, and founder of Mind Heart Consulting—'we actually have been imbued with superpowers' that enable healing. In her opening comments during a session entitled 'Art, Music, and Science as Catalysts for Healing & Transformation,' she expressed her interest in exploring the ways our bodies have been designed to support our capacity to heal."

"The embodied awareness Dr. King speaks of is a state of being fully present and feeling alive. It is a way for us to connect to the present moment by using sensory experiences such as our breath to ground ourselves. Embodied awareness also enables us to understand our interconnectedness and the energy we carry into our relationships. During the panel discussion, Dr. King further elucidates the concept of embodied awareness and its usefulness as a tool to spark healing."

"What are our intentions for the kinds of energy that we are bringing to our relationships? What are we bringing to the spaces we are in? Are we aware of our intentions and energy?"

"How we are carrying our bodies through time and space is a constant communication of whether we are beings who are offering up a state of belonging to those who are around us or whether we are offering up the energy of rejection and othering."

"Many studies—including Dr. King’s research—demonstrate the physiological benefits of mindfulness and art therapy. Several studies demonstrate that art-based therapy can improve mood, reduce stress levels, and decrease perception of pain. To make these findings—along with the healing power of art—accessible, Dr. King detailed her work with partners such as the Museum of Modern Art, the United Nations (UN), and the World Health Organization (WHO) to develop public programs. For example, she joined forces with MOMA, where she developed, in partnership with MOMA educator Jackie Armstrong and composer Orlando Villarraga, a 90-minute 'immersive exploration of the relationship between individual and collective awareness and the capacity we all have for transformation and healing.' She has also developed a guided meditation based on the work of artist Betye Saar—a 1969 piece entitled 'Black Girl’s Window'—that can be accessed through MOMA’s website."

Read the full article here.