|Arla Herron-Nurse, Art Therapist|
Arla told the group that “children need to express their emotions so they can learn,” and that she’d been employed by several schools to help children whose emotional issues were blocking their progress and causing them to act out.
Art expression has also been a useful therapeutic tool in hospitals, prisons, and various other settings, Arla said. At this Arts to End Violence workshop Arla instructed the attendees, a group of local teachers, artists and activists, to draw a picture that illustrated their emotions. Though some were initially hesitant to draw after years without practice, the drawings produced were beautiful images that the group later analyzed and discussed. Through this process, Arla explained, the adults could better empathize with a child in the same position, and also gain tools for engaging children in conversation about their art.
As the first Arts to End Violence workshop drew to a close, attendees expressed excitement about the upcoming Arts to End Violence events. They agreed that there is much inspiration and motivation to be gained from events that join activism with the arts.