Global Arts and Health Month in November

November Global Arts & Health Month

Arts Health Antigonish! (AHA!) is excited to be participating in Global Arts and Health Month in November. Throughout the month, Antigonish will enjoy a proliferation of arts-health activities in the community – in schools, community centres, hospitals, nursing homes and the library. Posters around town have been created for AHA! by local artist, Fenn Martin. AHA! is a Sustainable Antigonish collaboration between the arts community and GASHA Public Health, an energetic group that have been gaining momentum over the past 9 months.

AHA! and GASHA (St Martha’s site) are delighted to announce that during November, Tom Curry, music therapist will be the AHA! artist in residence at St. Martha’s Hospital. Tom holds a Certificate In Music Therapy from Acadia, a Diploma in Jazz Studies and a Bachelor of Arts with Major in Music from St. F.X.. Tom completed his internship under Peter Mutch at Catholic Family Services, Charlottetown, working with adults with intellectual disabilities, youth with autism and troubled youth. Following his internship, he worked for Heartsparkes Music Therapy with Homebridge Youth Society, individuals with autism and muscular dystrophy.

Noella Murphy will also be on site at St Martha’s Hospital as the Arthur Rivoire emerging artist in residence, under the mentorship of Dr John Graham-Pole. Noella is a local actress and artist interested in pursuing drama therapy. John Graham-Pole, MD, MRCP-UK, is Professor Emeritus, Paediatric Oncology & Palliative Care, University of Florida. He co-founded and co-directed University of Florida’s Center for Arts Health Research & Education and received the 2012 Global Alliance for Art & Health’s Outstanding Leadership award. He has published/edited six books and about 250 peer-reviewed papers and chapters. His current research centres on art for healing and palliative care. Funding for this position was donated to AHA! in memory of Arthur Rivoire, by the Old Barn Gallery and Aphrodite, and raised through a recent fundraiser.

In addition to artists in residence at St Martha’s, there will be several fun and participatory art-health playshops throughout November. Those at the RK MacDonald Nursing Home will be hosted by Mary Partridge in horticulture therapy, and will invite community guests, such as L’Arche, Highland Crest, the Children’s Place and several others, to join them in their ventures. Community youth and family playshops in Lakevale, hosted by Nancy Turniawan, art teacher and Rebecca Wild, musician and teacher, will encourage community building through the arts. The popular AHA! Thundertales, which fosters youth creativity through storytelling, will host their parents in a storytelling playshop. Adele MacFarlane, artist and teacher, will host several school playshops; the Sisters of St Martha will enjoy a music playshop facilitated by Tom Curry; GASHA Mental Health Services will also be participating in a playshop.

Playshops for everyone in the Antigonish community will be held at the People’s Place Library in collaboration with Health Connections. On November 8th, join John Graham –Pole and Wendell White in explorations with words and music; on November 22, Mary Partridge and RK and ACALA guests will facilitate discovering the joys of horticulture therapy; and on November 25th, Denise Davies and Wendell White will host a video-making playshop. All are welcome and encouraged to join in playing with AHA!.

On November 21st, AHA! will host a showing of the film, A Year at Sherbrooke, in the Community Room at the library, with a facilitated panel discussion of the role of the arts in long term care facilities. Please join us in this important discussion! AHA! and Thundertales will also be participating in open mike night at the library on November 15th, 6:30-8:30 – all are welcome!

AHA! is hoping the community will engage in numerous creative endeavors throughout November in recognizing the value of creativity in individual and  community health. We are most grateful to our many supporters in making these events possible. In the words of Dr. John Graham-Pole, “Art taps, for each of us, whatever our circumstances, a deep well of physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.  It is indispensable to our lives and to our total health.”

For specific details during November 2013 please go to our AHA! Calendar Page