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 is where I live now as a scholar and artist.
As a public health researcher, my expertise lies in exploring the intersections of the humanities and STEM, arts and health, performance and data, science and story. I believe the arts can help us initiate and sustain the difficult conversations that lead to greater well-being, improved community resources, more equitable and effective policies, and ultimately better health. The arts does this in part by illuminating voices and stories that traditional methods miss.
I give workshops /presentations about how the arts can improve health, advocacy, civic engagement, trauma-informed practices, data collection, etc. I also consult with organizations on the potential role of the arts in helping realize their goals, particularly at the ideas phase and regarding research/evaluation. If you're curious, get in touch!
Finally, in addition to workshops for incarcerated youth, I develop and facilitate workshops for all skill and interest levels (typically high school and above). My specialty is accessibility, and combining writing with other goals. If you're planning an event, project, course, or conference and you want to talk possibilities, reach out.