Over years as a touring songwriter, I noticed that songs about domestic violence or depression made these stigmatized issues "talk-about-able." All over the world, listeners stayed after shows to share with me their own experiences with these issues, often telling their stories for the first time. Given what I knew about the negative effects of stigma, silence, shame, and isolation, I couldn't help wondering how public art like this affected public health. This question developed into my current work as a scholar, practitioner, and artist. I investigate the impacts of stigma, norms, and discourses on health and well-being—and I develop/evaluate creative, responsive strategies.
As a public health researcher, my expertise lies in mixed methods work, interdisciplinarity, and out of the box thinking. I love the intersections of STEM and the humanities, creativity and health, data and performance, science and story. I believe innovative strategies are necessary for more equitable, effective practices that illuminate and honor knowledges, experiences, and meanings that traditional methods miss. Creative innovation can also help initiate and sustain the difficult conversations that lead to greater well-being, improved community resources, more equitable policies, and ultimately better health.
I conduct trainings and presentations about trauma-informed practice, critical pedagogy, social determinants + public discourse, applications of the arts to health and equity goals, adolescent mental health, how to combine arts and research, etc. I also consult with organizations on the potential role of creative, interdisciplinary strategies in helping realize their goals. If you're curious, get in touch!
Finally, in addition to workshops for incarcerated youth, I develop and facilitate writing workshops for all skill and interest levels (typically high school and above), for a host of purposes: team building, creative brainstorming, personal growth, reflexivity, storytelling, making a deliverable, etc etc. My specialty is accessibility, and combining writing with specific (and even seemingly unrelated!) goals. If you're planning an event, project, course, or conference and you want to talk possibilities, reach out.