TEA Talk “Healing through the Arts”-Reception to follow at WHS

May 3rd, 2015

2:00 pm - 4:30 pm

The Westport Arts Advisory Committee (WAAC) will present its second “TEA Talk” (Thinkers, Educators, Artists) on Sunday May 3, 2015, 2 p.m. in the Westport Town Hall Auditorium with a reception at WHS.

Entitled Healing through the Arts, TEA Talk will feature professionals in the visual and performing arts who utilize music and art therapy for veterans, cancer patients, and prison inmates and their families.

“As we thought about why the arts are so important to our community, we were struck by the psychological, physiological, and spiritual roles that visual and performing arts play in the healing process,” states Dr. Richard Epstein, WAAC Co-Chair and local musician/medical professional.

Healing through the Arts will consist of three 20-minute moderated conversations followed by a question and answer session. Video clips of each arts therapy program and audience participation will enliven the event. Visual art from the artists and patients involved in these programs will be on display in the Westport Town Hall lobby.

Evie Lindemann, printmaking artist and Associate Professor of Art Therapy at Albertus Magnus College, will explain the background and training of today’s arts therapists as well as the various modalities and treatment settings commonly encountered.

Professor Lindemann will discuss the Westport Arts Center’s (WAC) visual arts therapy programs for veterans and cancer patients with artists Jahmane West and Nell Waters Bernegger. Jahmane West — street artist, painter and fashion designer — employs art as therapy at Bridgeport’s Homes for the Brave residence for veterans. A Westport-based painter, Nell Bernegger volunteers in the WAC therapeutic arts program at the Smilow Cancer Center, Yale New Haven Hospital.

Next up, Richard Epstein (Westport dentist, musician and radio host) will discuss music therapy with Craig Gillespie, Board-certified music therapist and mental health counselor. Craig provides music therapy for in-patients in cancer treatment at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Bridgeport.

The Bridging Boundaries Arts Intervention Program at York Correctional Institute in Niantic will comprise the final conversation. Introduced in 2005 by Judy Dworin, Professor of Theater and Dance at Trinity College, this multi-arts approach coupled with social work helps bridge the forced separations of incarcerated women from their children. Exploring the impact of the residency program with Professor Dworin will be Kristin Fox, documentary film producer, arts administrator, and arts software developer.

WAAC’s Healing Through the Arts TEA Talk is at Westport Town Hall auditorium, 110 Myrtle Ave, Westport. No tickets are required. For more information, go to www.westportarts.org.   The event and a reception at the Westport Historical Society immediately following are FREE and open to the public.