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Inaugural Speakers Panel was pure light, joy and impact!

"Our heart rhythms were syncing", as Rhoda Bernard of Berklee College of Music was explaining the phenomenon of what happens when people sing together for long stretches of time. We were all in the presence of revolutionary minds, enthralled with their heart-warming stories, all eager to feel joy through creativity, to experience its powerful ability to aid in the processing of complex emotions. Every thought, shared experience, every aha moment - resonated. It was a beauitful affirming gathering full of light and hope.

I loved Jeannette Guillemin, faculty at Northeastern University and co-founder of Creative Re/Frame, shae her captivating working in prisons story. Through powerful storytelling Jeannette brought us to this barren setting and her processing of events unfolding. I felt my devastation at not being allowed to bring materials in transform into awe when inmates themselves suggested using chairs for their portal sculptures exercise, tying in sweatshirts to connect pieces together.

Even more touching was hearing that Jeannette's own mother went back to get her education when Jeannette was 10, what a role model! And that her father in law was the legendary Sidewalk Sam, who gave out chalk to all passersby at Copley Square, encouraging them to draw, proving that each of us has the power to express our own creativity.

People had tears in their eyes when hearing of Jenny Jean Okumura's historical sketches for Philadelphia court rooms. I felt tears well up when Rhoda shared a story about an autistic girl with a strong desire to sing who she helped reach the Broadway stage.

The parting thought that stayed with me after this groundbreaking and inspiring panel was that a recital isn't about perfection. It's a snapshot of where you are. You are wonderful as you are, and life is all about little yes'es you allow yourself along the way.

I can't wait to welcome Claudia Fiks, ArtScope Writer Correspondent, and her famous Sip and Chat conversations in January. There's an interfaith womens' panel scheduled for March. Stay tuned, or better yet - sign up for our mailing list, to not a miss a beat in our bustling Coolidge Corner space!

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