General Project Outcomes

  • 100 women involved in art-­‐making for 4 days
  • Produced a mural, choreographed dances and online photo exhibit
  • 19 women caregivers attended training for arts in trauma 
  • Modeled the use of art
  • Created a critical awareness of the role of the arts in healing, good health, communication, establishing community, and caregiving
  • Created a mural for the new WAMU offices
  • Taught new skills for caregivers, new skills in photography and painting, community building from existing traditions in dance

What worked well

  • Ritual opening, and motto helped build a broader community of participants and helped provide a container for the week-­‐long program 
  • Having two translators and three on the team who spoke Swahili 
  • Art skills appeared to be both challenging and within the grasp of the women—neither too simple nor too difficult 
  • Teaching artists and trainer had appropriate teaching level 
  • Generally, and considering the context, the week and schedule of classes were appropriate for the context. 
  • BuildaBridge received 4 sessions of orientation via skype calls. 
  • Final celebration and awarding of certificates were critical in giving structure and encouragement 

What needs to change

  • Formal introductions of staff with BAB of those who will relate in an administrative role. 
  • Maybe attend a staff meeting for introductions or a visit with a relevant practitioner 
  • Daily updates and debriefings 
  • Number of participant-­‐staff ratio needs to change. Classes should be no larger than 10-­‐ 15 depending on art form. 
  • Host needs BuildaBridge materials on hosting 
  • Supply list needs to be at least two weeks prior to the trip including alternative options 
  • Any orientation or other materials should be sent via email two weeks prior to the trip 
  • Three meals a day; or two larger meals that includes breakfast. 
  • One day debriefing and relaxing day at the end of the experience should be planned. 
  • Send the how to host a team—post on the internet—especially in new contexts 
  • The team needs to know how they want to handle newcomers after the first day. 
  • The team has to decide what are the requirements for handling a certificate 
  • Role clarification—same is in shelters—team must be clear on their role in problem solving. They cannot solve problems outside of their responsibilities. Otherwise defer to the host—it is there responsibility to manage local issues 
  • Take attendance! 
  • Get instructions on the bathroom or other special places 
  • If possible stay on site in order to develop relationships with the staff and participants, allowing also for greater preparation time. 
  • WAMU should provide a written guideline for safety ahead of time. 
  • Provide formal time of introduction to all staff relating to the team 
  • Outline clear process for problem solving including communication and role expectations. 
  • Follow the ritual everyday

Movement Outcomes

  • Collaboratively choreographed 2 dances 
  • Took turns when they did the scarf dance (social skill) 
  • They recognized and applied the metaphor of growth in the midst of conflict (Enduring) the Storm possible title) 
  • Learned a new form of dance one they had not seen before 
  • They performed movement outside their normal range but unclear if they would initiate on their own 
  • All students demonstrated somatic awareness as demonstrated by their ability to control body movement efforts. Observed through weight (light and strong), time (sustained and quick) and flow (bound to free) 
  • Demonstrated cooperative work with only one argument. They were supportive of each other. Cheering each other on. 
  • They took ownership by initiating rehearsing and organizing themselves 
  • The recognized that dance was good for their bodies and they could use on a daily basis. 
  • Esther, the leader, commented that this was a new concept and that the could use it, asking for further clarification. 
  • Some were early in anticipation. 
  • They learned and repeated the ritual and could give instructions to new members. They were consistent in attendance and were engaged—no one was not doing something. 
  • There was extended leadership as an emerging leader who would lead well when Julia began to step back. 
  • Students demonstrated hope through nonverbal affect, enthusiasm for the motto, they could make a movement about what they wanted for their future in eating well, moving, working, and sleeping. Peace and safety were two words important. 
  • Students demonstrated healing by increased self-­‐soothing movement. 

Best Practices (what worked well) 

  • Integration of repetition and integrating small new things to gain a sense of mastery 
  • The space was good because is a good container without foot traffic and the trees provided a ceiling (canopy) and good acoustics 
  • The choice of metaphor seemed to work well—flower being able to endure the storm 
  • Maintaining the circle and strong leadership. E.g. had to direct one on one whose turn it was. This is especially in true large group activities by giving specific direction. When she didn’t there was an argument.—see tape. 
  • Developing empathy—mirrored movements, giving affirmation, maintaining eye contact, asking to learn their dance, bringing scarves to enhancing the dance (title for article). 
  • Keeping the class moving with no dead time—used few words and allowed the dance to teach. (Allowing the Dance to Teach—article on teaching methodology) 
  • Awareness of the physiological challenges of the women who have undergone sexual violence in order design movements for recovery and incorporated in the lessons 
  • Incorporated movements that are good for women who are experiencing disassociation. E.g. lack of body awareness, shoulder blade/rotator cup. 

Areas to improve (what to change)

  • There was no place to sit and music
  • Train the team in reading non-­‐verbal cues
  • Have a team with assistants
  • The ratio was to great we usually have 5-­‐1 and this was 26-­‐1. This could have been solved by limiting the class size.
  • Take attendance with a team—think ahead to have social assistant. Being proactive and clear about class organization and requirements/expectations. A balance is needed for creativity and spontaneity.
  • Be more efficient and competent to bring the cognitive awareness to emotional and somatic expression through the metaphor
  • When writing curriculum focus on one metaphor or message in this context—one week.
  • Teach a new dance skill or dance style that expands the world view of the participants, e.g. ballet, hip-­‐hop, or something that expands world-­‐view, range of movement, language skills and terms. 

Visual Arts Outcomes

  • Painted a mural 
  • Depicting thoughts and feelings on paper. Drawing their past and future o Mixing colors
  • Learning primary and secondary colors
  • The ability to critique others work along with being supportive 
  • Learned differences in different types of paint
  • Hope: Animated about their drawings of their future in a concrete image, like an image pledge a reminder of their hopes. Hopes were school, food, house
  • Healing: they were open to put hurtful things on paper—a process of healing
  • Working with their hands was healing—this was the first time to paint for most if not all women
  • Expressed warmth with Kaylie through holding hands, etc.
  • They enjoyed the process of painting—took a lot of time and point out things to Kaylie and conversed
  • When seeing the final product liked the phrase that was a connection to WAMU o The first drawings were small, not nicely spaced and not as many. In the last drawing, after critique, the space divided gave them sections, more drawings bigger and more colorful. This relates to the big letter. 

Best Practices

  • Grouping the women 
  • Doing your own teaching but using the assistants to help, by having them ask questions, guide, collecting name tags—general administration 
  • While waiting would start with singing.
  • Problem solved by adapting the lesso—scrapped—and redesigned to integrate WAMU and local saying
  • Coming up with supplies and being persistent in getting them
  • Connected with the individual women even though such a large group (50). 
  • Would talk with them and use Swahili by asking about their lives—a baby was born and encouraging them to visit.
  • Adapting to the context and changes in schedules, lack of paints etc. 
  • Used individual letters of first name to define the space and broke down space and they were more prepared for painting—they had bigger drawings because of smaller space

Lessons Learned (What you do different next time)

  • The group was too large and there needs to be a limit and understanding the reason why.
  • Consistent location and time, generally the outside was good.
  • Having a full paint description for supplies and alternatives
  • Own consistent class ritual
  • Living closer to the work site in order to get to know the people.
  • Knowing personal needs and feeling comfortable with those—e.g. needing food for energy, and making those aware.
  • Do own blogs and updates.
  • Wanted picture with women and mural 

Photography Outcomes 

  • The women got the skills; framing, composing, operating the camera 
  • Taking pictures 
  • One of the women’s husband is buying her a camera because she got the certificate 
  • Willing to form a club and go forward with the program by organizing and getting a camera 
  • They have hope, can we get cameras? They want to continue. Husband is buying camera and she is happy by future of moving forward. Forming a club. 
  • They were free to share with Shem after each session. What will we do tomorrow. 
  • Sharing through the photographs who were they were and sharing with Shem verbally that they had HIV. Open and honest—wanting Shem to know but not asking for helping. 
  • Built community through sharing of one camera.

Best Practices

  • Focused on two goals of using the camera and composition to take pictures 
  • Gave them opportunity to take photos immediately—a swap between theory and practical 
  • You engage the women in conversation 
  • Organized the class and set expectations early and repeated each day. Organized into groups and each group had leader and he used leaders to manage the class. 
  • Used one camera per group and allowed them all to use which built cooperation and community 
  • At presentation, each one took a photo in the slide show—commmunity—everyone contributed 

What you would you different

  • Room was not private enough and there was too much traffic 
  • Need more cameras maybe 2 per group 
  • Class was too big difficult to give attention and see what is needed 
  • Assembly and classroom too far apart • 

Arts and Trauma Outcomes 

  • Increase in knowledge regarding trauma and the impact of trauma and the arts on the brain
  • Awareness of the concept of compassion fatigue and the need for self care o Learned new strategies for counseling survivors of trauma due to sexual violence, e.g. active listening, guided imagery, creating a ritual
  • Learned new things they could use in their counseling, i.e. guided imagery, helping with feelings
  • Opportunity to express and share their own trauma 

Best Practices (What worked well)

  • Guided imagery worked really well
  • Demonstrating the need for play for own self care (obwisana)
  • Name/Movement greeting worked well to create community and learn names o Having multiple translators
  • Having a space where everyone could sit in a circle
  • Sharing stories of trauma
  • Having certificates as a motivator to come to every class
  • Having Powerpoint in French
  • Brain tutorial was very well received
  • Name tent cards to both identify and pre and post test 

What I would do different next time 

  • Tutorial on Arts and Emotion 
  • Identifying emotions (based on cards and asking to give terms in their language) 
  • Labeling emotions 
  • Examples of emotions in music in my culture (choose from different traditions) 
  • Examples of emotions in music in your culture (have them demonstrated and explained as a group experience) 
  • Push to discuss color and emotion, as well as images and movement and emotion 
  • Culturally relevant scenarios in the local language (daughter with dead turtle)
  • Begin by asking the women what techniques they now use that were successful and what training they have already received and what problems are they now having that they are having trouble to solve
  • Talk to their supervisor or trainer about what has been done and what is needed and their goals for the staff.
  • Ask about women’s backgrounds—education, marital status, etc.
  • Consistent meeting time when everyone can make it
  • Do what we can to make sure they have copies of the powerpoint syllabus. Bring if necessary. Critical.
  • Get emails and contact information for further training and follow-­‐up 
  • Lecture less and do more experiences.
  • Have refreshments

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