This is a free support group for creative people that may feel blocked in some way, have confidence issues, need a sounding board or simply a place to check in with other people that may be struggling too.
The Artful Dodgers support group is first and foremost, an anchor. An allotted time you give yourself consistently is a great first step in getting out of your own way and by extension, holding yourself accountable can be the kindest thing you do for yourself.
We meet on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month - scroll down for our schedule and to RSVP! BYOB (and snacks!)
So, what should you expect from these meetings?
To give you a sense, here’s a snippet of our loose agenda for the first meeting:
- Names, pronouns, where you are from/live and your main creative medium(s). Ex: writing curriculums, painting candles and repurposing clothing.
- What are some of the things you find gets in the way of being creative?
- The mission of The Artful Dodgers and building a social contract based on shared group values.
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy* Grounding
- Exercise 1: Focus on a single minute
- This is the first exercise that will help you focus more fully on the present moment. It’s simple to do, but it often has an amazing effect. Its purpose is to help you become more mindful of your own sense of time.
- Exercise 2: Focus on a single object
- The purpose of this exercise is to help you train your “mental muscle.” This means you will learn to maintain your focus on whatever it is you’re observing. And with practice, you’ll get better at focusing your attention. In this exercise, we will observe the art pieces in Filana Turner-Paul’s exhibition, Collateral Beauty. We will read the artist statement first to keep our focus grounded.
- Exercise 3: Band of Light
- This is the third exercise that will help you focus more fully on the present moment. It will help you become more mindful of the physical sensations in your body.
- DBT Mindfulness
- Inner-Outer Experience
- This exercise will help you recognize and focus on your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. You will practice shifting your attention back and forth in a mindful, focused way between what you are experiencing internally, such as your physical sensations and thoughts, and what you are experiencing externally, such as what you notice using your eyes, ears, nose, and sense of touch.
- Closing and prep for the next meeting
That all might look super serious but remember that my (Kels) goofy ass is facilitating and there will be some profanity. Rest assured…or maybe that isn’t assuring. Either way, come through and see!
And for those interested but already feeling pressure, that’s the first step in joining The Artful Dodgers: Believing and knowing it’s actually a pressure release valve.
*DBT combines standard cognitive-behavioral techniques for emotion regulation and reality-testing with concepts of distress tolerance, acceptance, and mindful awareness largely derived from contemplative meditative practice.
Please sign up below:
Kels Savage, LMSW (she/her/hers) is a community-based art worker that has found fulfillment first and foremost in assisting creativity but also enjoys making stuff. Kels is a social worker and community organizer that has mainly worked with the LGBTQIA+ community with a focus on teens and incarcerated folx. She likes to think of herself as a Professional Queer. Someone once told her that Kels could be an acronym for Keep Everyone Loving Someone and that's a pretty good way to put it.