"FINDING PEACE OF MIND IN FAITH AND ART"
July 11, 2002
"Redeem The Days"
" COMMUNITY PARTNERS "
Within each of us, there is a creative person, and for most, waiting to come out. How transforming it is, when ones thoughts and feelings rise above the mundane and the painful through religious faith and art.
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
It has been a source of concern, when many publicly funded schools have eliminated the arts from their curriculum, as if they are not needed for a well rounded education.
The truth is, that the arts enhance learning capabilities, self esteem, and peace of mind.
And although art is generally considered secularly, it is rewardingly connected to faith in that it reflects the Imagery of a Magnificently Creative Deity; of Whom we are all heir.
Through faith, we are able to attain the fulfillment of our humanity that is Freely Given by a Loving Deity that is FATHER to our needs in a way that no human relationship can provide.
Ezekiel 37:14; Ephesians 5: 17
And shall put My Spirit in you, and you shall live,...
Wherefore, be you not unwise,
but understanding what The Will of The LORD Is.
In bringing out the inherent GOD Given artistic qualities, one lays the groundwork for the academics that should successfully follow in children.
Starting small children with praised drawing, coloring, painting, music, singing, etc., and then following through with reading, writing, math, etc., is a sound way to build upon educational skills that are rooted in self esteem and acknowledged, healthy pride in capability of accomplishment.
"Redeem The Days"
In being freed from family stress with 'a room of one's own', so to speak, women have been finding positive results in turning their lives around, as in a case in point of 'The Women's Multimedia Center' in Claremont, CA.
The Center has become the headquarters of many such 'rooms' due to the vision of one woman, screenwriter Wendy Cooper-Porcelli, who found need and positive result; and then proceeded to help others.
Judy, for example, attended the Multimedia Center, and was able to make sense and relieve the effects of a traumatic childhood through expression in writing. She said, "Sometimes it was extremely painful and emotional; some of it still doesn't make sense, but other stuff came together nicely."
"THE COMMUNITY PARTNERS NETWORK."
There are many programs like this one, according to officials at 'Community Partners', a Los Angeles based organization that is countrywide.
Various programs focus on young people, among them PF Bresee Foundation in L.A., and Community Digital Initiative at UC Riverside; but the Claremont Center focuses on older women, most often those in transition.
As part of the Center, there is a weekly session at 'Crossroads', a group home for women on parole.
Steffen, who once served a three year jail sentence, said that the program that consists of critiquing movies and recording video diaries, tries to show women that they aren't powerless, and that there is a vast world beyond their troubled existence.
Another program working with the center is 'Prototypes of Pomona', CA, which offers psychological treatment and group therapy sessions to battered women and those with addictions.
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; ...
Judy, who spent 13 months at Prototypes after suffering a nervous breakdown, said that the classes helped her to develop 'tools for life'. "The only way I knew how to deal with the pain, was through drinking. The therapy was great, but the writing gave me a whole new insight into myself. It wouldn't have worked if I didn't do the writing."
Wendy Cooper-Porcelli, who copes with struggling with a budget and other problems of running the Center says, "It's not easy, but it's a priority, ...it's worth it to me, ....it's worth my money and my time."
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"FINDING PEACE OF MIND IN FAITH AND ART", "STARTING OUT", "REDEEM THE DAYS", " COMMUNITY PARTNERS ", "GOOD TURNS",
(c) Copyright 2002 by Gerry M. Kaye. All rights reserved.
CONTRIBUTOR: L.A. TIMES, June 30 Article " Center Helps Women Find Peace of Mind In Art" by Gariot Louima.