March 24, 2018
Emerald Sketch march together in Washington DC with over 200,000 others, among them many of the students and families directly effected by gun violence and school shootings. The teenagers from Parkland, Florida now stand strong initiating the March for Our Lives movement and create a wellspring of hopeful and profound energy.
To start the day in DC I organize an Emerald Sketch Art therapy Trauma Response Workshop inside the Educational Studio at the National Gallery of Art. The initiative first begins as an idea to provide a safe space for any massacre survivors, and their families prior to the March, as the NGA borders the march location on one side. Outreach is engaged and everyone that connects from Newtown and throughout the nation seem grateful to learn of the initiative. With so many people ascending on DC this Saturday morning it is evident that the families in need of services are among the unlikely to attend. So I begin inviting individuals interested in Art therapy and Trauma Response, albeit clinicians or others.
By 11 am quite the eclectic gathers in the Education studio first creating a “Safety Nest” reminiscent of one created in the Newtown community. Among the group includes two additional art therapists, Javere Pinnock and Rana Abdallah-Lara. Together the art therapists complete our #WeaponsofMassHealing -assault weapons cut from black foam board drawn to scale to indicate the guns used for American school massacres. Ours however shoot rainbows. One side reads #Whatif Guns Shot Rainbows? While the other side reads, It Would F*cking Tickle
An additional sign is a giant rainbow on black foam board, used as a template for double handed scribbling -an excellent mind-body exercise- now reads, Where is our #SafetyNest ? #Arttherapy
A lively collective including Michael Davis, Alvin Ailey Dancers and company join the workshop and I proceed to introduce the clinical Art therapy processes introduced in Newtown following the Sandy Hook School shooting. All participants have an opportunity to participate in an art therapy drawing process, or contribute to the group #SafetyNest sculpture, in addition to a psycho dynamic group discussion.
Together as creators, collaborators, and clinicians we March for their Lives. #MarchforOurLives #WashingtonDC #EmeraldSketch