The University of Floridas’ Arts In Medicine program teaches artists how to work in the healthcare field and how to develop programming for art to be used in the recovery process or maintaining well-being. It is not art therapy, but can work closely with creative art therapists to give deeper, richer art experiences. This new field is being adopted as part of recovery, improving quality of life in hospitals, rehab centers, support groups, community centers, aftercare programs, and assisted living facilities. During my first year in the program I interned in Dunedin and St. Petersburg with Voices of Hope for Aphasia a non-profit support group for people with aphasia. I created and instructed art projects with members and it was a wonderful learning experience. I worked with Pasco Hernando State College developing an interactive printmaking project called The Marks of hUmaNITY for their yearly Peace Week programming. I also redeveloped this project to inspire compassionate acts as a community project at the Dunedin Library.
I am currently volunteering with the Dementia Action Alliance assisting with getting the Dementia Arts Festival off the ground for June 2019 in Atlanta, GA. I am also a teaching artist with Creative Clay’s ArtLink program that pairs a professional artist with a young artist who is phasing out of the education system. I will hopefully graduate from UF in December 2019 with my MFA in Arts in Medicine. I want to be a conduit for Pinellas County artists to work in the healthcare field to increase the exchange between the two worlds of art and healthcare.
In a two week intensive, I shadowed working artists in residence at UF Shands Hospital while gaining hands on knowledge of the needs and requirements for arts programming in a hospital. This summer intensive also brought a community of artists from all over the world who are interested in developing and exploring the arts in medicine field.
VOICES OF HOPE FOR APHASIA INTERNSHIP
I spent over 120 hours developing and instructing art projects to members of Voices of Hope for Aphasia. It was a huge learning experience and I will hopefully be working with them for my capstone project in the Fall of of 2019.
MARKS OF HUMANITY COMMUNITY PRINTMAKING PROJECT
Pasco Hernando State College hired me to develop and instruct an art project for three of their campuses for their annual Peace Week 2018. This project centered around the theme of Humanity. I used printmaking to engage the students to create symbols that represented how they connect to humanity.
MARKS OF COMPASSION PRINTMAKING PROJECT
For my Compassion and Art class, I reworked my Marks of Humanity printmaking project to focus on how people experience compassion and how they can perform compassionate acts. I presented this this project at the Dunedin Library and engaged all ages throughout the day.
ARTS FOR HEALTH FLORIDA
I am a member of Arts for Health Florida and was hired to help facilitate arts for wellness projects during a busy Tampa work day so that people on their lunch break could stop by and relax for a moment creating.
Theatre Exceptional hired me to develop background imagery for their production of Our Town. I worked with all of the cast to paint symbols that represented their characters in the play. The final production was engaging, moving and beyond my expectations.