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New Series On The Health Of The Arts Starts This Week


by Mia Estrada 14 Jul 2020 6:00 AM

Every day on Art&Seek, we’re talking to people who have tips on art in this time of social distancing.  Share yours with us on Facebook, Instagram, or @artandseek on Twitter. Click above to hear Rhiannon Martin, with the Leadership Arts Alumni, share her tip with KERA’s Nilufer Arsala. 

In the first two-and-a-half months of COVID-19 closures, 57 Dallas arts and cultural organizations have lost more than $33 million, a recent survey by three arts advocacy groups found. The survey noted 649 artists and staff were furloughed or laid off in that time period.

Join  Connect For The Arts webinar on ZOOM July 15 at 10 a.m. Join Through a Physician’s Camera on July 16 at 12 p.m.

Due to the staggering numbers, the Business Council for the Arts (BCA) and Leadership Arts Alumni, a group to support BCA and advocate for business support of arts groups throughout North Texas, have created a new series called Connect For The Arts. The series will discuss the current challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has on the arts.

“We were motivated by the challenges that we were seeing within arts groups from everything that has happened from COVID-19,” said Rhiannon Martin, a Leadership Arts Alumni committee member of Business Council for the Arts. “We saw a lot of arts groups asking questions, but didn’t really have an answer.”

Lily Weiss

The first session begins on July 15 and will focus on re-opening protocols and recommendations. Lily Weiss, the Dallas Arts District executive director, will lead the meeting. It will serve as an open dialogue between leaders and non-profit organizations. Each forum will be presented by expert speakers.

In a news release, Business Council for the Arts CEO Katherine Wagner said the following forums will also focus on issues of diversity and equity.

“The arts provide a portal to understanding, recognition and appreciation of diverse cultures,” said Wagner in a statement. “It is our intent that they be used for healing as our nation turns its attention to the racism that divides us.”

The Leadership Arts Alumni will lead the series based on responses from arts organizations on their July 15 meeting. They’ve set up an online survey for arts organizations to fill out.

Martin said the group will plan for new sessions every three weeks, but details will be sorted out in the first session.

Art & Health Through A Lens?

Photo: Shutterstock

Photography can have many therapeutic factors. It can take you outside, promote mindfulness and make you a better communicator.

On July 16, the Business Council for the Arts will host their monthly webinar series on art and health, which will answer questions “on how important is the process of taking and making a photograph.”

The webinar series was announced in June and has continued to pose questions on the healing power of art. This time it will continue with the topic Through a Physicians Camera.

The two expert speakers are Dr. William Dauer, director of Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute and Peter Poulides, founder and executive director of Dallas Center for Photography. The moderator will be Gail Sachson, founder of ASK ME ABOUT ART and former chair of the Dallas Cultural Affairs Commission and vice-chair of the Dallas Public Art Committee. (Sachson also occasionally contributes to Art&Seek.)

“I’m hoping that the audience, people who are listening and watching, will find that this is an opening up for them in their lives,” Sachson said. “For better health, through art and creative expression.”

In the late 1980s. Sachson wrote cover stories of physicians who were photographers for the Dallas Medical Journal. Sachson will showcase the work she’s captured over the years and ask questions on the emotional impact of images.

Dr. Dauer will discuss what happens in our brains when taking photographs, but also painting, dancing and writing.

The last Art & Health webinar will be on August 20 with Jerry Skibell, a North Texas artist who has parkinson’s disease, and his neurologist Dr. Madhavi.

Got a tip? Email Mia Estrada at [email protected]. You can follow her on Twitter @miaaestrada.

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