To wrap up International Arts in Education Week, we are pleased to have a contribution by guest blogger and author Simone Pertuiset. Simone’s books are inspired by her own family’s stories: one about France (and travelling to Africa and South America) in the 1800s and one about the early 1900s in England and the trenches of the First World War.
Artistic expression is a catalyst for healing, connection, and self-discovery
Just as we need food and sleep to thrive, for many of us, artistic expression is a vital source of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. For marginalized children, it can be a lifeline of healing, unlocking the door to their inner world and communicating emotions and experiences that words alone can’t capture.
All forms of art, whether expressed through brushstrokes, dance, or song, revolve around storytelling and human connection – serving as catalysts that build bridges between us. Verbal communication, while essential for human interaction, sometimes falls short in expressing the depths of our emotions, experiences, and inner worlds. For children who have experienced trauma, words often fail to capture the intricacies and complexities of their thoughts and feelings. Words can be limiting and subject to misinterpretation.
This is where art emerges as a powerful form of expression. Through visual and performance arts, we can transcend the boundaries of language using imagery, symbolism, movement, and sound. This allows us to delve into the depths of our being, convey the unspoken, connect on a profound level, and find solace in sharing our stories.
Stories have the remarkable ability to transcend boundaries, ignite meaningful conversations, and forge deep connections that remind us of our shared human experiences. Many individuals who discover the joy of creating art say that singing, dancing, painting, or acting helps them feel more at peace with themselves, in harmony with the world, empowered, and energized. Therefore, it is no wonder that when marginalized adolescents wholeheartedly embrace visual and performance arts – whether through painting, sculpting, dancing, acting, or music – they are tapping into a wellspring of self-expression, self-love and compassion which is liberating. In this magical realm, they explore emotions, thoughts, and experiences without solely relying on words to convey themselves.
youthLEADarts creates a safe space for marginalized children to thrive
The combined power of storytelling and performance arts can be harnessed to facilitate healing and nurture the mental health of children and young teens who have faced challenging circumstances from the start. Programs like youthLEADarts provide a safe haven where trust is built, a sense of belonging is fostered, and in which a supportive environment encourages exploration and creative expression.
With the guidance of trained mentors equipped with tools to navigate challenges, process emotions, and nurture artistic skills, these children embark on a transformative journey that promises to cultivate self-confidence, foster social bonds, instill resilience, and nurture an abundance of empathy.
Let us wholeheartedly embrace the transformative power of storytelling and performance arts and witness the remarkable brilliance that marginalized teens can unleash.
Check out Simone’s author website, https://www.pertuisetnovels.com where she has started writing blogs, including one about youthLEADarts which she calls LEADarts program and where you can order her books, “Manet and the Lion Hunter” and “Three Tales From the Tip of an Era”.