At HopeWorks, we use the arts in three important ways to accomplish our mission: to support survivors in their healing; as a vehicle to increase awareness; and to imagine creative solutions to bring about social change.
The creative arts are a means of helping people to improve and enhance physical, mental and emotional well-being. The creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people in a variety of ways. When we create art and reflect on it, the processes increase self-awareness, initiate awareness of others, and help us cope with stress and traumatic experiences. Creative expression facilitates ending or finding solutions to conflicts and problems.
Researchers at the National Institutes for Health report that through the arts people can ease pain and stress and improve the quality of their lives. “More specifically, there is evidence that engagement with artistic activities, either as an observer of the creative efforts of others or as an initiator of one’s own creative efforts, can enhance one’s moods, emotions, and other psychological states as well as have a salient impact on important physiological parameters.” 1
We aim for a society in which all girls and women are safe and valued, and where everyone can reach their full potential. Artistic expression taps into an expertise that many people possess but don’t always think of applying to the work of transforming one’s life after violence or transforming our communities and society to prevent violence.
HopeWorks’ arts programs provide an opportunity for survivors and community members alike to tap into their creative potential for personal and social transformation.
HopeWorks’ Poetry N2 Wellness and Action workshops use the power of creative arts to encourage wellness and healing, community-building, cultural shifts, liberation and celebration.
In a small group setting, participants (who are not in crisis) explore topics that include gender roles, stress relief, sexual orientation, injustice,
stigma, self-care and healthy relationships. These workshops are interactive, using a modality called Transformative Language Arts, an academic field focused on social and personal change through the power of the written, spoken or sung word.
Offered quarterly, some workshops are one-day events; others are offered as a multi-session series.
Programs are open to the general public and to survivors who are out of crisis.
The HopeWorks’ Women’s Circle is a roundtable-activity group (for women who are not in crisis) that often features arts-based workshops.
Like Poetry N2 Wellness and Action, The Women’s Circle is one of our Self-Care and Social Justice programs. These programs focus on enhancing emotional wellness, through the exchange of ideas, creative activities, and connecting with others.
HopeWorks’ I CAN WE CAN Workshop is modeled after the national campaign called One Billion Rising.
During the workshop, we talk about what we can do to end violence at home, in the workplace, or at school. Big things, small things; everyone can do something.
Then using their hand as a canvas, participants create artwork to inspire peace and healing.
I CAN WE CAN is appropriate for men, women and children of all ages, and is presented in a variety of community venues, such as schools, village centers, faith-communities, senior centers and summer camps.
When our voices remain silent and our truth
unspoken the quality of our lives can suffer…
HopeWorks offers opportunities for survivors of sexual and/or relationship violence (who are out of crisis) to use creativity for self-care, healing or artistic activism.
Unlearning Not to Speak: tools for writing your survivor story
During this interactive workshop we share, use play, and practice writing techniques to “unlearn“ ways not to speak.
Telling This Truth: preparing to share your survivor story
This is a seven-session workshop series to help survivors prepare to share their survivor story in the community as part of HopeWorks’ Speakers Bureau.
The Our Voice Workshops are educational/wellness programs, and are not intended to replace or to be a substitute for counseling.
With notice, childcare may be available.
“Only one thing is more frightening
than speaking your truth…
And that is not speaking.”
Open to the Public-at-Large
HopeWorks’ arts magazine Dragonfly is published annually. Themes for your submitted work (both visual and literary) may include reflections on life, love, trauma and hope or the process of self-renewal.
Writers/Artists do not have to be survivors.
For submission details : Check the Dragonfly Arts Magazine page or email: