Our entire nation has been dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic since early this year and anxiety is at an all-time high. From isolation, financial instability and even losses of loved ones, many of us are having difficulty coping.
VITAL Health is a yearlong, community-based initiative created by artist Stacey L. Kirby and curator Michael S. Williams to engage the public about mental illness at this critical time in our lives. Art-making workshops, interactive performances and art installations will address the state of mental illness in our communities. Partners on the project include NAMI Wake County, an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Online Interactive Art Sessions
During May and June, the VITAL Health team is hosting free online interactive sessions where participants will make art aimed at improving their mental health.
Williams and Kirby, in collaboration with Dr. Kelsey Evans-Amalu, a yoga and meditation instructor as well as star of the PBS show “Happy, Health Kids,” will facilitate the sessions on Zoom.
Each session will start with a movement-based practice to loosen us up. Kirby will then guide participants in a soothing flower-making process in honor of our mental health as individuals and as a community. Evans-Amalu will share coping strategies for handling the “stay at home” orders and social distancing restrictions that affect us emotionally. We will wrap up the sessions with a Q&A in which participants can anonymously ask Evans-Amalu more about the strategies or for further guidance. Participants will be encouraged to display their handmade flowers in their homes as a reminder of self compassion and to revisit their mental health coping strategies during challenging times.
All materials needed for these virtual workshops will be sent to registrants in advance. There is no fee for this event. Sessions will be up to 90 minutes and there are two types:
- Family (families of four) on June 11th at 10:30 am
- Individuals (13 and older) on June 18th & June 25th at 7:30 pm
The workshops will take place on Zoom Webinar. Once you register, we will send you further details including the webinar link via email. Learn more about the VITAL Health project at ourvitalhealth.com and follow the hashtag #VITALHealthNC.
This project is part of SEEK Raleigh, a temporary public art program that engages artists to use unique, non-traditional interiors, structures, and outdoor spaces for site-specific, performative, and participatory installations and experiences. Additional partners include the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Wake County, Anchorlight Raleigh and the Durham Art Guild.