From November 10th through November 15th, Ollom Art
will be holding its 2018 Festival, the theme of which is “The Hole Project: Mining Portals of Vulnerability.” This year’s festival explores the real and “metaphoric holes in our…bodies and our psychic selves through installations, artistic creations, workshops and panel discussions.” The festival opens with a gala fundraiser on November 10th from 6 to 8 PM, which you can learn more about and for which you can buy tickets here
. The money we raise will help to fund Ollom Art’s “Art Heals” workshops. These workshops will be held “across the country [with the goal of reaching] out to communities…and collaborat[ing] with local artists to help demonstrate…how art can open channels” to healing from trauma.
I became involved with the Festival because, as a survivor of childhood sexual violence, I have experienced firsthand how making art can contribute to healing. My workshop, which is called Writing About What You Are Afraid To Write About
and is for writers of all kinds and at all levels of experience, will explore strategies you can use to put the thing or things that scare you into words—even when you don’t want to say exactly what it is—and to see that kind of verbalization as an act of hope. I hope you will consider attending, or that you will pass this information on to someone you think would benefit from this kind of workshop. Here’s the full description:
Why write about something you fear? To name it and, in naming it, to gain control over it. To learn how not to be afraid. Or, perhaps, to learn how to live with fear. Why try to make poetry from your fear, to make it beautiful with words? Not the straightforward loveliness of surfaces, but the beauty that puts us in touch with the full depth of what it means to be human, that does not force us to choose between it and ugliness, but rather allows us to experience both beauty and ugliness as they always already exist within us, and in the world around us. Why? Because while a poem may pronounce judgment on what we fear, it does not judge us for fearing it. Poetry is not politics, and it is not therapy, but finding the words that will make your fear beautiful is an act of hope and, therefore, of a kind of healing. In this workshop, we will explore strategies for bringing that hope and that healing into our lives and our work, whether as poets and writers, or as people who simply want to find ways of saying what they haven’t, till now, been able to say.