Is your company looking forward to returning to "business as usual"? Read more to learn how the arts can help your teams reconnect and build resilience after crisis.
Holding Space for Staff
As we move through what are hopefully the final stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are collectively holding one last gasp - in anticipation of a final sigh, a release. But we cannot move forward without acknowledging what we have gone through: collectively and individually, as communities, as families, as humans.
When one considers social impact, there has not been such an acutely impactful event for our society than COVID-19; and in the trauma, the loss, the innovation and evolution of our lives there is tremendous potential for growth.
The arts offer us the space and tools to acknowledge the difficulties and triumphs of the past year, and pathways to learn to be more empathetic to one another’s experiences and to honor our own.
Participating in arts programming can allow your staff to be better equipped to move forward and innovate as a team, with improved communication, observation, the skills to think critically about opportunities and ideas, to share perspectives, and to notice what is still and newly possible together.
"Like exercise and good nutrition, being creative is simply good for us."
Creating Healthy Communities Through Cross-Sector Collaboration, 2018
Creative Writing and Art Observation for Grief Processing, Team-building, and Communication
Selāh™ is a unique program developed by Arts in Health Consulting that uses art observation and creative writing to give teams an opportunity to reflect, look deeply at their own experiences, and relate to the experiences of their colleagues to rebuild and strengthen relationships after crisis.
With in-person options at partner museum sites, or virtual sessions via Zoom, Alyson Maier guides your team through the following steps of art observation, pairing each step with writing exercises.
See: Objective surveillance
Search: Analyze from all angles
Say: Building communication skills
Selāh: Pause + evolve
Creative writing + poetry: Has been shown to allow for perspective sharing, processing of grief, and reshaping of one’s own narrative.
Art observation: Has been shown to increase observation skills, communication, teamwork, and cultural competency.
Visual Literacy™ is another proprietary program that focuses on art observation skills. The program can be adapted for any team, but is built on principles used for medical education. Using the same four pillars of practice, See, Search, Say, Serve (replaces the Selāh practice), participants develop empathy, observation, and communication techniques that allow them to work better as teams.
Ongoing Creative Practices to Build Resilience
Building a regular creative practice can help individuals and teams build skills for resiliency in the face of crisis, stress, and burnout. In fact, in a recent scoping review, over 190 related references link visual arts practice to individual and community resilience.
SoulCollage® is a meditative collage-making process that allows participants to connect to their intuition and process their emotions in a non-verbal practice.
As a certified SoulCollage® Facilitator, Alyson Maier can develop a specific, guided multi-week program for you or your team. Subjects to cover can include burnout and compassion fatigue, self care, self empowerment, and leadership training.