There's no denying the power of the arts. From school settings to clinical facilities, creative endeavors have a remarkable ability to facilitate healing and empowerment.
And this Friday, Tony Award winning playwright, activist and Vagina Monologues author Eve Ensler will put art in action by leading a "Safe Space," workshop with local victims of violence. Part of the Drum! Dance! Rise!, One Billion Rising campaign (a global call to action to end violence against women), the effort is designed to encourage creative empowerment.
In addition, Ensler will also be host a public panel with Miami leaders, where they'll brainstorm on how to create quantum change in our community and beyond.
So what, exactly, does creative empowerment entail?
"In a world where we are outer-focused, bombarded with social conventions and images and messages that tell us who, how, and where to be in life, we lose connection with our intuitive guidance and instead are lead by relating to other, instead of relating to self. This separation from our core essence can bring great harm and pain," says One Billion Rising Miami's Lela Lombardo.
"Trauma separates us from our core essence as we are catapulted into reacting to something by way of fear, resistance, defensiveness or depressions and begin to identity with this reaction," Lombardo says. "Creative empowerment brings the language of inner knowing back to the fore, encouraging individuals and communities to source their innate creative passions as an expression of their natural strength, wisdom, and unique contribution."
Ensler will lead the workshop, as well as mentor and work with five YoungArts alumni, along with ArtSpring and Lombardo.
Then, the panel will address the basis for major, fundamental change in our community.
Joining Ensler will be Fran Katz of The Women's Fund and Ivon Mesa of Miami-Dade County's Coordinated Victims Assistance Center, as well as representatives from some 30 local organizations, including Kateriina Rosenblatt from There Is Hope For Me; Casa Valentina; Stop The Sale Of Our Children For Sex; Lotus House; Girl Power; AGAPE; Juvenile Justice; Haitian Women of Miami, CARE, Guardian Ad Litem, and many more.
With the reach of social media, everyone's talking about violence against women, but this is a chance to do something about it -- to join one billion voices raised in protest.
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Check-in for the event begins at 4:30 p.m. on Friday at the National YoungArts Foundation, 2100 Biscayne Blvd. The One Billion Rising short film starts at 5 p.m., followed by the panel and discussion. The event is free, but RSVP is required via Eventbrite. Donor Reception, sponsored by Francis Ford Coppola Winery, will follow at 6:30 p.m. in the YoungArts Gallery. Minimum donation is $100.00. All funds will support One Billion Rising Miami Revolution 2015.
Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahgetshappy.