Art as an outlet for patients – Join me in making this year’s Art Project a success

Here we go again! It is time for the big push to make sure we have pieces for the 2008 Art Project.

Yes, many of the MaxStations are just coming out for air after spending the last few weeks with interviews, photoshoots, translations….let along Viji who is currently in self appointed isolation. She was “volunteered” to be the writer of the 15 stories!!!!! Wow, what was she thinking accepting this commission! So suppose you take a full month to do it (who has that luxury), still you would have to put out a story every other day. Knowing us, we expected her to write all the stories in two weeks…..Well, she is totally up to the challenge and we are very proud of her.

Now, enough of basking in the glory of having almost finished our work related to the book, it is time to make sure everyone is planning activities related to this year’s Art Project. I will list below some of the ideas and activities to help with local planning.

– This year we are being more flexible and thoughtful about the award part. There is opportunity to create a local award and a regional award as well.

– As some of you are aware, Angeli is currently in Thailand / Malaysia spending a couple of months “getting hands on experience”. She used this opportunity to try out an art therapy event with a small group of patients in Thailand. She even had a small survey to get feedback from people after the event. Her preliminary results indicate everyone loved to participate, it made them feel better and supported, and they want to do it again next month!!!!!

– Angeli has made available to POs all her materials: presentation for patients, survey, project overview. Everyone interested please ask Angeli and their PO.

– Nelia in the Philippines is also about to conduct an art therapy session. Nelia recruited the help on an art therapist. We are looking forward to hearing from Nelia after the event, and want to make sure we use the survey to gather feedback;

– some MaxStations are having patient workshops in the next couple of months as part of the compliance project. I am strongly suggesting that in the workshop flow we include the last hour (or any hour) for art therapy. This can be a great moment to socialize and share while people engage in creating a piece of art. Yes, there can be resources to purchase materials….

– I encourage MaxStations from countries where patients were selected for the book, to leverage this to encourage people to participate. During the next meeting, call on the given patient or family; give them recognition for their participation; and perhaps ask them to share how they approached the making of the piece, how they were inspired, how did it make them feel, etc. This can be the opening of the art therapy session and also make the given family feel proud.

– Moreover, if you have your patient (and caregivers) art therapy session, later on in the October meeting (the celebration of life meeting) all the pieces can be exhibited and if the group wants a little contest can be done and the one piece can be chosen for the local group holiday card…..

– People that for one reason or another don’t think they can include the art therapy session with a patient group meeting, should also feel free to volunteer at a pediatric clinic and bring supplies for children battling cancer to participate. These entries would be most welcomed.

– One of Nelia’s patients already submitted 5 pieces for this year’s project. I am including some of them below for inspiration…

– The opportunities are endless. Please help us make this project once more a success. Project leaders here are Danielle and Angeli. Please feel free to reach out to them with questions.

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