Art Therapy Students Talk about Their Trip to Cambodia

A heartfelt interview with 3 art therapy student participants in the 2012 Naropa Community Art Studio International Service Learning trip to Cambodia talking to the 2013 team of students who will be offering their services in Cambodia this next May.

UNITE IN HEALING THE SURVIVORS OF SEX TRAFFICKING

JOIN US FOR THE 2ND ANNUAL PAINTING MARATHON IN AN EFFORT TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT SEX TRAFFICKING!

NOVEMBER 9-11
FRIDAY 9PM TO SUNDAY 9PM
NAROPA’S NALANDA CAMPUS
6287 Arapahoe Ave
(63rd and Arapahoe)
Boulder, CO

to donate go to
http://www.crowdrise.com/paintingmarathon2012

Boulder’s Daily Camera Highlights the Naropa Community Art Studio

Boulder’s local newspaper highlights the role the Naropa Community Art Studio (NCAS) plays in both the local and international community.

“In this community art studio, students from Naropa, Boulder’s Buddhist-inspired university, act as mentors in what educators hope gives them the foundation to develop as socially engaged artists.”

The Naropa Community Art Studio-International (NCAS-I) grew out of this original model and both continue to flourish through community support.  Thank you, Boulder!

Read the FULL ARTICLE by Brittany Anas at the link below:

http://www.dailycamera.com/ci_21866835?source=rss

NCAS-I Invited to Speak at the 10th International Conference of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA)

 

 
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Seeds Sown From the Killing Fields: Tending to the Lotus Flower

The Cambodian people are among the most brutally traumatized people in recent history, marked by years of inexplicable violence, political corruption and economic despair. The effects of the Khmer Rouge and the plan of Pol Pot’s regime to “purify” the country by killing nearly a third of the population still resides in the minds and hearts of every Cambodian today. 

It is hard to know how or if the Cambodian people will ever overcome this horrendous past and how it permeates their present day to day lives. Vulnerability is still high and the task to just “stay alive” is what most Cambodians, especially the very poor, wake up to every day. 

While on their 3-week service-learning trip to Cambodia in May of 2012, it became apparent to this panel of faculty and students that there was a larger economical and political landscape informing the prevalence of human rights violations taking place. In particular we saw the past inherited by young girls rescued from the sex trafficking industries in Phnom Penh and poor children who had been taken off the streets of Seim Reap.  The history of all these children is entangled with abuse and neglect, domestic violence, addiction, HIV/AIDS and extreme poverty – relics from years past.

Our idealistic goal to actively engage with NGOs toward social justice was a much more serious endeavor and humbling mission then we ever imagined – there was little change our suitcases full of art materials could make.  It was easy to have such a lofty goal given our privilege as educated, white Americans. We had much more to learn from the Cambodian people than we could ever expect to share with them.

What we hoped to gain on this trip was more than realized.  We introduced art therapy techniques to train staff how to help themselves and their clients.  We taught ways toward self-care and helped to develop art based curriculums that would yield more expression.  We talked about trauma, pain, and the efficacy of art making to heal wounds. We made art with many children, engaged in silent dialogue and made meaningful connections that transcended the need for words. We drew, cut, glued, colored, stitched, stuffed, made and wove and every now and then caught a glimpse into the pain and promise the children of Cambodia hold.  And we learned a lot about ourselves too.  Our own need to “fix” and make better, our assumptions of how we could, and our own pain in realizing what little we actually could do, other than allowing ourselves to be still, open our minds and hearts, and listen deeply.

There were many valuable resources that informed our work in preparation for this trip, books such as Art Therapy and Social Action (Kaplan, 2007), Art and Action (Levine & Levine, 2011), Art Therapy in Asia (Kalmanowitz, D., Potash, J.S., & Chan, S.M., 2012), Never Fall Down (McCormick, 2012), Sex trafficking (Farr, 2004), Half the Sky (Kristof & WuDunn, 2010) and many more but nothing informed us more than the people of Cambodia themselves.

 This panel will discuss our learning goals and how we were able to meet those goals, which includes 1.) Cultural Learning, 2.)  Art Therapy Learning, 3.) Personal Growth, and 4.) Project Development. 

Sustainability of our efforts is a must; continued participation with the organizations we formed partnerships is the only way to make an impact in bringing art therapy to these populations, and it is not something to be done alone. This is a collaborative effort on many fronts that involves a global community and all constituents are important members.  This includes not only the NGO’s and our team, but artists, therapists, social activists and all people interested in stopping human suffering.

 References:

Farr, K (2004) Sex trafficking: The global market in women and children. Worth Publishers (1st edition).

Kaplan, F. (Ed.). (2007). Art therapy and social action.  Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley.

Kristof, N and WuDunn, S. (2010) Half the sky: Turning oppression into opportunity for women.  Vintage

Levine E., & Levine, S. (Eds.). (2011). Art in action: Expressive arts therapy and social change. Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley.

McCormick, P. (2012) Never fall down. Balzar &Blay.

Ngor, H. with Warner, R. (1987). Survival in the killing fields. MacMillen Publishers.

 

 

 

 

Painting Marathon 2012: Meet Team “SOARING HEARTS”

Have you chosen a team to support for the NCAS-I Painting Marathon of 2012?  We’d like you to meet team Soaring Hearts!  They are one of three teams representing the Naropa Community Art Studio-International…and we’re pretty sure you’re going to LOVE them!

 

What does Team SOARING HEARTS have to say?

“Hearts that soar
are wanting more
For the women and girls
who silently roar.

We protest by paintbrush!
all day and all night
To raise enough money
to fund our long flight.

Together we’ll serve
to heal and empower
For nothing can stop
our hearts by the hour.

Soaring Hearts Rise Up!”

Who’s leading this fun-loving team to victory?  None other than the amazing Bethany Wells and Erin Shannon!  Read about these NCAS-I rock stars here!

We know you want to DONATE to Team Soaring Hearts, so go ahead, click on the link below and be our guests!

http://www.crowdrise.com/soaringhearts2012

Like them on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the 2012 Painting Marathon happenings!

https://www.facebook.com/soaringhearts48hrs?fref=ts

Please email ncas-i@naropa.edu with any questions.

Painting Marathon 2012: Meet Team “Tutulicious Animalz”

Have you chosen a team to support for the NCAS-I Painting Marathon of 2012?  We’d like you to meet team Tutulicious Animalz!  They are one of three teams representing the Naropa Community Art Studio-International…and we’re pretty sure you’re going to LOVE them!

 

What does Team TUTULICIOUS ANIMALZ have to say?

“We are a fabulous team of tutu and tail wearing painters for Naropa’s 48 hour painting marathon.  Join us and have fun supporting a great cause!”

Who’s leading this fun-loving team to victory?  None other than the amazing Alexa Pinsker and Joanna Loftus!  Read about these NCAS-I rock stars here!

We know you want to DONATE to Team Tutulicious Animalz, so go ahead, click on the link below and be our guests!

http://www.crowdrise.com/tutuliciousanimalz

Like them on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the 2012 Painting Marathon happenings!

https://www.facebook.com/TutuliciousAnimalz

Please email ncas-i@naropa.edu with any questions.

Painting Marathon 2012: Meet Team “DINOSAURUS REX”

Have you chosen a team to support for the NCAS-I Painting Marathon of 2012?  We’d like you to meet team Dinosaurus Rex!  They are one of three teams representing the Naropa Community Art Studio-International…and we’re pretty sure you’re going to LOVE them!

Why is Team DINOSAURUS REX paining this year?

“Art is still basically the same as it has been since prehistoric times. It brings together man and the world. It lives through magic. – Keith Haring”

Who’s leading this fun-loving team to victory?  None other than the amazing James Huffman and Lisa Lamoreaux!  Read about these NCAS-I rock stars here!

We know you want to DONATE to Team Dinosaurus Rex, so go ahead, click on the link below and be our guests!

http://www.crowdrise.com/dinosaurusrex

Like them on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the 2012 Painting Marathon happenings!

https://www.facebook.com/48hrdino?fref=ts

Please email ncas-i@naropa.edu with any questions.

Reminiscing and Looking Forward and a big THANK YOU!

Blog by Sue Wallingford

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Almost a year ago today the NCAS-I team only had about $500, a partnership with Tranisitons and a HUGE dream of going to Cambodia and working with girls who had been rescued from the sex trafficking industry.  With great enthusiasm, unbridled passion and a strong will to make our dream come true we had our first fundraiser, the first Painting Marathon Relay in October of 2011.  Quickly we were to realize that others in our community were also eager to take up the cause to fight against the trafficking of girls for sex, and by the end of our fundraiser we had engaged over 300 people and raised enough money to say, “Yes, we are going to Cambodia!”

From the moment we birthed the idea to now we have experienced such an outpouring of support for this cause, that I want to take a moment to say THANK YOU to all the seen and unseen supporters and to let you know how well your efforts paid off.

After the Painting Marathon in October of 2011, we had a few other successful fundraisers that helped to not only support the travel of 7 students to Cambodia, but also provided enough for us to buy needed art supplies for the organizations with which we worked.  We received a prestigious grant from the Jenzabar Foundation while we were in Cambodia and so are well situated to begin the seeding process of future fundraising events and trips abroad.

As stated in an earlier blog about the mission of NCAS-I and our intended work in Cambodia:

NCAS-I expands the boundaries of the Naropa University Community Art Studio from local to global. Rooted in the principle of collaboration and a belief in the innate wisdom, creativity, and interdependence of all, we, the art therapy graduate students and faculty, seek active engagement with social justice organizations around the world. We will use art therapy practices to help relieve suffering and maintain a vision of unity, as guests and learners in the communities we serve.

I marvel at the foresight we had in the very beginning when we wrote this statement. I feel proud and deeply satisfied that we have been able to accomplish what we set out to do and that our mission was fulfilled.  Our plan to bring healing through art to the people of Cambodia was wrought with active engagement (external and internal), and collaboration.  Our aim to bring relief to suffering through the practice of art making was realized and became our own practice as we struggled to work with the harsh realities of this country.

While our intention in the beginning was to work with one NGO, Transitions Global, we found ourselves being asked to join forces with other human rights organizations.  In the three short weeks we were there we also worked with Anjali House, an organization that takes children off the streets and provides free healthcare, food, clean drinking water and education.  We talked with Ragamuffin, a grass roots NGO committed to bringing the expressive arts to relieve emotional pain and psychological damage in children and adults, about how we might collaborate in the future.  We spent some time volunteering at an orphanage in Phnom Penh that takes in abandoned and disabled babies and young children.  There we held babies, painted, danced and played with the children.  They asked us to come back next year.  We visited Arn Chorn Pond’s country home and learned from him first hand about the atrocities that happened to the Kymer people during the rule of Pol Pot.  We visited his Cambodian Living Arts Center and played music with students committed to bringing the traditional arts back to the people of Cambodia.  We had long conversations with the hotel staff, our tuk tuk driver, NGO workers, ex-pats and many other Cambodian people about politics, religion, art and culture.  Assumptions and personal values were constantly challenged, transformed, sometimes dropped and sometimes deepened.

AND WE DID ALL THAT IN A YEARS TIME!  WITH THE LOVING SUPPORT OF PEOPLE ALL OVER THE GLOBE!

Now, a year later, we are preparing for the 2nd Annual Painting Marathon, and ways to bring awareness to the issue of sexual trafficking and other devastating issues that plague the Cambodian people. We are forming new partnerships with other NGO’s in Cambodia and have widened our trainings there to include more populations in need. We are no less enthusiastic or driven.  The work we have done so far has only made us stronger and more focused on our mission.   This year’s team is bigger and strongly dedicated to what we began a year ago.  I am as proud of this team as I was the first.  It is such a blessing to be a part of this incredible journey with them and with you who continue to support us.

THANK YOU for your continued love and support, we could not do without it!

No Sunday Plans? Watch “Half the Sky” Online!

Watch Part 1 through October 8 here:  http://video.pbs.org/video/2283557115

Watch Part 2 through October 9 here:  http://video.pbs.org/video/2283558278

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide was filmed in 10 countries and follows Kristof, WuDunn, and celebrity activists America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan, Gabrielle Union, and Olivia Wilde on a journey to tell the stories of inspiring, courageous individuals. Across the globe oppression is being confronted, and real meaningful solutions are being fashioned through health care, education, and economic empowerment for women and girls. The linked problems of sex trafficking and forced prostitution, gender-based violence, and maternal mortality — which needlessly claim one woman every 90 seconds — present to us the single most vital opportunity of our time: the opportunity to make a change. All over the world women are seizing this opportunity.” -From http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/half-the-sky/

“When women progress, we all progress.” – From “Half the Sky”

Do you want to support NCAS-I and our upcoming Painting Marathon fundraiser?  Visit our Crowdrise page and donate to the cause HERE!

IT’S COMING…………..BIGGER AND BETTER THAN BEFORE!

BE A PART OF THIS YEARS PAINTING MARATHON 

HELP RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT SEX TRAFFICKING, BOTH ABROAD AND AT HOME!

JOIN THE FIGHT TO EMPOWER WOMEN AND GIRLS ACROSS THE GLOBE!!!!!!

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STAY TUNED. MUCH MORE TO COME.  

if you want to be part of this amazing event email us at ncas-i@naropa.edu

 

 

Restoration Movement Symposium: SUCCESS!

1st and 2nd Year Graduate Art Therapy Students, along with Sue Wallingford, at the Transitions Symposium in Denver, September 29, 2012 (Photo by Erin Shannon)

What an incredible opportunity it was for representatives from NCAS-I to attend the Restoration Movement Symposium hosted by Transitions in Denver last weekend.  We learned about the urgency in bringing awareness to the issue of sex-trafficking, both here in Colorado and globally.  We learned that trauma-informed care is imperative when working toward rehabilitation and reintegration for survivors of sex-trafficking.  What’s more, we know that quality restoration care takes time, is worth doing well, and cannot be done alone.  Collaboration, a founding principle of NCAS-I, is key.

As we look to the future, we are very excited about the possibility of forging new partnerships with organizations in Cambodia, maintaining NCAS-I’s mission to actively engage with social justice organizations like Chab Dai, Transitions, and Polaris Project.

Moving forward, we find inspiration in James Pond’s words when asked, “How do you find hope with such difficult work?” The co-founder of Transitions responded, “It is the small successes that matter – when you actually have a girl reintegrate back into society without being re-trafficked, re-exploited or voluntarily engaging in prostitution.”  Follow James and Athena Pond and The Restoration Movement here!

Thank you to Sgt. Daniel Steele, Tovah Means, Stacia Freeman, Katherine Chon, Helen Sworn, and James and Athena Pond!

P.S. We walked away from the Symposium with a wealth of knowledge and look forward to sharing more with you as we continue our journey!  Thank you all for your support and please stay tuned!