Age Group for Residencies: pre-K, elementary, middle, secondary, young adult, adult, senior
Special Groups: LGBQIA+, transgender and non-binary, autism, mental health needs, eating disorders, chronic illness, different ability, family violence, trauma, US newcomers, parents, families
Special Project: Everything I need to know about sex, I (should) have learned in kindergarten. This sexuality education writing project is for older teens, young adults, adults, and seniors.
My teaching follows a community arts model within a social justice framework. What does that mean? I tailor-design workshops to meet specific needs and explore social issues including sexuality, gender, human relationships, trauma, anger management, eating disorders, body image, human diversity and culture, and mental health using the expressive arts. This all began more than 25 years ago when I worked with a small group of teens who lived hard lives in rural Pennsylvania. We made group poems, listened to and interpreted music, played expressive games, shared dreams, and told stories. Since then, the bulk of my work has been in urban Lancaster, PA.
In my programs, students feel heard and valued. Students begin to figure out who they can trust, how their experiences and their individual personality shape their lives, and what their strengths are. I utilize community resources and experiential modalities in ways that help learners gain new skills, identify sustainable strategies, and achieve general well-being. I draw from cognitive, systems, social learning and empowerment theories in the teaching/learning process. This is applied with children, teens and adults of all ages in schools and community spaces.
My long and closely-held tenet in every expressive endeavor is that of seed planting. It’s all about the ideas and how those ideas flow within and between people; and how the energy of ideas connects and synergizes small groups and larger communities. I believe that we all have capabilities in art, to be creative in our own unique ways. I believe this is true of people with varying physical and emotional capacities and people holding diverse frames of reference.