We are currently expanding our reach by adding locations outside of Chelsea to offer our programming to a wider range of individuals. The first Healing Arts for Women Group to be offered at The Upper Valley Haven in White River Junction, Vermont, began in mid-September 2019. The Haven has provided temporary shelter, food, and educational programming for the homeless and anyone in need, since 1980. SafeArt provided a trauma-informed workshop with The Haven staff last spring, which led to this partnership when they asked us to offer a healing arts group at their location. We have also started a another Healing Arts group at the Riverbend Community here in Chelsea and in 2020 we hope to add another location in the Montpelier/Barre area, which has a larger population and more people in need.
The HAICU group has had a name change! Now known as the Healing Arts Imaginative Care Unit, we continue to move forward. Some members have graduated, though they continue to help with volunteer work and community efforts, and we open our creative space to new participants.
All of the women that participated in the Chelsea Art Walk back in March, used their creative expression to explore new beginnings and hope for their future. The strength to share with our community, their thoughts and passion, is beyond commendable.
More recently, the women have been working together to create a Peace Pole and have invited all of the SafeArt Community to construct their own personal peace to attach to the pole which now stands beautifully in our gardens. As Spring has passed and we are moving into Summer, the gardens have been planted and tended to by HAICU, growing fresh vegetables for their lunches together.
By Cleopatra Griffin - Administrative Coordinator and Community Events
Through the beginning of the year, and leftover winter months, the HAICU group has been working on vision boards. With the use of multi-media and collage, these vision boards are representations of all that these women would like to see come to fruition this year. Filled with positivity and growth, they have explored a deeper understanding of themselves and their trauma, along with ways to cope and create.
The Evening Group started off the year with a powerful fire ceremony that they spent a few weeks preparing for. Each participant chose a personal issue of concern and did a series of exercises to uncover and release old, unwated patterns and energies. It felt great! The women then turned their focus to creating their own vision boards for the new year, exploring personal intentions. Each is beautiful and unique.
Joining the Chelsea Art Walk, various artworks created by the Healing Arts for Women groups will be on display in our studio space and open to the public. We are looking forward to sharing the creativity, growth, compassion, and healing exercises with our community.