General Assembly on Healing Track Schedule

Three Mondays: 10/18, 10/25, 11/1

Conclusion Friday 11/5

The General Assembly on Healing track of Groundwork: Healing within Community Arts Education is open to all who register for the gathering, and focuses on healing for self, for the collective, and for movement building through grounding practices that—over time—return, remember, realign, and recenter health and wholeness within community arts education. 

View the full schedule, including the other three learning tracks, here.


Graphic of the Groundwork General Assembly on Healing track schedule. Session info for this track can also be found below.


View all presenter bios and headshots on the People page.

Learn more about the Session Formats—Grounding Practices, Make/Think/Share Studios, Real Talk Salons, and Armchair Travel Tours.

Week 1: Healing for Self (Monday, October 18–Thursday, October 21, 2021)

Monday, October 18—General Assembly on Healing

1–3pm ET—Opening Session

Grounding Practice

Title: Heart-Led Presence

Description: The more of our selves we can see and be present with, the more we can really see and be present with each other. This breath and sound practice will support tending to our heart space and inviting our full selves to our time together.

Presenter: Ashley Frith (Director of Racial Equity and Belonging, Community MusicWorks)


Featured Storyteller

Title: Journey to Self Healing and Growth in the Midst of Supporting Community Transformation

Description: While engaged in deep community work, we must consider our own journeys through self-healing. Many community workers find themselves called to make a difference, yet as they engage in their pursuits to better the world, the heavy tasks required often affect their health and well-being—no matter how much they love it.

Too often we are taught to believe that passion can carry us through to healing because of our love for the work, for the community. We are encouraged, coached, and trained by our predecessors, who unintentionally pass the torch or self-sacrifice on because that’s all they were given—their badges of doing good work were allotted once they were completely “used up”. As we work to create equity, awareness, and justice, we may find ourselves still operating in this self-sacrificing “matrix”.

To counter this paradigm, we must navigate the ever-changing road towards healing, and this requires practice, consciousness, and intentionality. Join us as Kwayera Archer openly shares her own story about how we can become stronger, truly liberated, more compassionate, and joyful through every turn along the journey towards liberation by also working on our self-healing, today and every day.

Presenter: Kwayera Archer (Principal & Chief Visionary Officer, Global Ase)

5–7:00pm ET—Make/Think/Share Studio

Title: SoulCollage®

Description: Amongst the many inclusive & trauma-informed arts practices that Cynthia Tom engages in with community through A PLACE OF HER OWN, she is a licensed facilitator of SoulCollage® (first founded by Seena Frost in 1988), a specific creative collage process for accessing intuition. In this workshop, Cynthia invites us to make our inner wisdom visible as we each create the first cards (1-3) of our personal deck of cards for guidance and meditation. In addition to making personal collages, we will also be invited to read and interpret cards for one another in an intimate reflection practice. (A detailed list or materials will be shared, but please expect to come prepared with several 5 x 7 cards, scissors, adhesive, and paper images for collage.) Journaling will also be encouraged.

Presenter: Cynthia Tom (Founder, A PLACE OF HER OWN), Julie Andersen (A PLACE OF HER OWN Alum/Advisor, SoulCollage practitioner, Community Arts Curator), Patricia Ann Zamora "PAZ" (Alum, Facilitator, Community Arts Education, A PLACE OF HER OWN), Bronwyn Shaunessy (SoulCollage® trainer, Australia / Naturopath dip HM / A PLACE OF HER OWN Adviser)

Grounding Practice (asynchronous session—registrants watch in their own time)

Title: Skimming the Surface, An Expressive Movement Grounding

Description: Dance Entropy's Artistic Director, Valerie Green will offer a nurturing practice whereby participants will be on a guided journey to ground and tune in to the inner self. Working individually while in community to: Listen, Allow, Open, and Radiate through an activating movement based experience.

Presenters: Valerie Green (Artistic Director, Dance Entropy, Inc.)

Week 2: Healing for Collective (Monday, October 25–Thursday, October 28, 2021)

Monday, October 25—General Assembly on Healing

1–3pm ET—Opening Session

Grounding Practice

Title: Bugsay, Bugsay (Paddle, Paddle): Water ~Reconnect ~Align ~Transform ~Heal

Description: Through a Bisayan islander Bugsay song and dance led by Mylene "r.a.d. Leng Leng" Cahambing, we will be led through a movement and visioning process to honor our sacred, precious human life. r.a.d. Leng Leng will share a story of resistance that connects dreams with seafaring ancestral wisdom and ask that you consider a gift that you have received from your ancestors for which you are grateful.

Presenter: Mylene "r.a.d. Leng Leng" Cahambing


Featured Storyteller

Title: Collective Healing, Care, and Community Arts Education 

Description: Please join Groundwork advisor Karla Estela Rivera as she moderates a dynamic conversation amongst community arts education practitioners who center collective healing and community care in their work and with tremendous heart—with representation from a well-established theater company that practices care internally amongst staff and outwardly in community (Coya Paz), an individual teaching artist whose social practice centers community in public spaces (William Estrada), and from a newly founded urban retreat center and social practice experiment in holistic health, leadership development, Indigenous arts and culture (M. Carmen Lane).

Presenters: Karla Estela Rivera (Executive Director, Free Street Theater), Coya Paz (Artistic Director, Free Street Theater & Interim Dean, The Theatre School at DePaul University), William Estrada (Faculty, UIC School of Art & Art History), M. Carmen Lane (founder/director, ATNSC: Center for Healing & Creative Leadership)

5–6:30pm ET—Make/Think/Share Studio

Title: How to Support the WE when the ME is Tapped Out: A Toolbox for Action

Description: An experiential workshop using movement, meditation, tapping and reflective processes shared as accessible tools for self-care and to inspire taking action in this pandemic environment. Participants will move, write, tap, meditate, breathe and reflect, energizing both the body and the brain; our inner and outer selves. By experiencing a deeper mind/body connection, we will gain tools to access individual power and motivation within a collective group. Too often we neglect our own wellbeing, and as a result are stressed and overworked. We'll learn self-care when listening to our own voices, affirm values, clear negativity and clarify next steps to make a difference in our new challenging environment. Participants will leave, GIVING  themselves permission to take action.

Presenters: Diane Jacobowitz (Executive/Artistic Director, Emeritus, Founder, Dancewave and currently Teaching Artist), Teri Lynn Gandy-Richardson (Visual Artist, Writer, Yoga Teacher, Owner Park Slope Yoga Center, Yoga4Cancer Foundation & Board of Directors)

Grounding Practice (asynchronous session—registrants watch in their own time)

Title: From Self-Care to Community Care: 7 Steps to a Transformational Practice

Description: Simple steps to building an embodied, arts-based, contemplative practice that can be used for self-care, community care, and leadership development.

Presenters: Rachelle Archer (CEO/Founder, Artful Leadership Coaching & Consulting), Ann Davis (CEO/Founder, Mistakes Welcome)

Week 3: Healing for Movement Building (Monday, November 1–Friday, November 5, 2021)

Monday, November 1—General Assembly on Healing

1–3pm ET—Opening Session

Grounding Practice

Title: The Creation of Affirmational Mantras

Description: During this facilitation, Afroetic will guide participants in movement, breathwork using sound healing, and teach participants how to create an affirmational mantra.

Presenter: Trinity Miracle (AKA Afroetic)


Featured Storyteller

Title: Stepping into Embodiment —Self to Collective Healing and Movement Building

Description: We are here to heal ourselves and our communities. The systems of oppression that steep through the context of our histories have impacted our social systems, cultures, relationships, personal experiences, perspectives, and communities - including the community arts ecosystem. We are building for change, in the face of generational legacies of trauma. We are being called into greater accountability. To bring humanity together, and make our movements stronger, we must learn what it is to embody purpose, equity, well-being, and creativity - personally, organizationally, and in our approaches to overall systems design.

This workshop will provide a set of guiding principles and frameworks, to help ground and equip you to dig deeper into your own work. We will engage in an exercise centering on the embodiment of your purpose and path forward, toward creating systemic change.

Presenter: Phoenix | Sun Park (Founder, Voice of Purpose)

5–6:30pm ET—Make/Think/Share Studio

Title: Play Filled Leadership

Description: How might one integrate Play into their leadership to further collaboration and bolster creativity for an authentic community? B4 The Other Creations (B4) believes Play is the process of becoming. Join us in an engaging 90 minute exploration into the unknown world of Play, supported by the research of Dr. Stuart Brown. Maximizing the “Zoomground” to see and be seen amongst this virtual community, in this workshop players will be guided through light theater/clown games, written exercises, and discussion that blends observation, reflection, and bubble popping questions. B4 will also introduce their innovative six Buoy & Anchors system that navigates the feelings inside of Play. Please bring a journal, pencil, and an open mind/heart. Be prepared for breakout rooms and breath filled surprises along the way!

Presenters: Malia'Kekia Nicolini (Co-Founder, B4 The Other Creations), Christopher Joseph Beaulieu (Co-Founder, B4 The Other Creations)

Friday, November 5

1–3:15pm ET—Concluding Session

Grounding Practice

Title: Spiral Exploration

Description: From breathwork to journal work, please join Raji to process what you’ve learned together through spiral. Spirals teach us that we never arrive, just find new depth — what lessons will you be taking to heart to radiate outwards? Or vice versa?

Presenter: Raji Ganesan


Title: Concluding Reflection + Remarks with Groundwork Advisors

Description: Join us in a call to action and affirmation with Groundwork advisors as they reflect on the design process of collaboratively creating the Groundwork gathering and participating in the program throughout. Following advisors' closing remarks, we will hold a 15-minute break, after which all attendees will be invited to share in a final, collective reflection space to share takeaways and insights.

Presenters: Groundwork Advisors Ashley Hare (Deputy Director of Equity and Human Development, National Guild for Community Arts Education), Calida Jones (Vice President, Arts Consulting Group), Paula Ortega (CYD National Youth Coordinator​, Creative Youth Development National Partnership and National Youth Network), Karla Estela Rivera (Executive Director, Free Street Theater), and Cynthia Tom (Founder, A PLACE OF HER OWN)