Racial Justice Dialogue & Equity Calls: Dates & Descriptions

NOVEMBER 2018

WHAT’S IN YOUR BACKPACK?
Build More Authentic and Sustainable Relationships with Your Clients of Color

Wednesday November 14th 8PM EST/ 5 PM PST
With Robin Schlenger and Kristen Brookes
Click Here To Join The Call At The Time Scheduled

As therapists, we are always carrying with us the messages (implicit and explicit), values and codes of conduct that reflect and replicate white culture in various ways.  We bring them with us into our interactions with our clients and others in our lives. As a white therapist, you may not realize the impact that your unconscious biases are having on your ability to connect deeply with your clients of color.  It is imperative that you are aware of the effects of race, in the same way you need to be aware of the effects of transference and countertransference in your therapeutic relationships. Recognizing and unpacking these biases, values and norms is an essential step to having more authentic relationships with our clients of color and guiding us toward more healing and  emancipatory therapeutic work.

In this dialogue we will begin to unpack our backpacks by reviewing  the concept of Internalized Racial Oppression and examine the ways that Internalized Racial Superiority and Internalized Racial Inferiority manifest in our relationships with our clients. This will be an opportunity for white therapists to uncover the ways in which their whiteness is influencing the therapeutic process. You will be challenged to lean into your growing edge and to work through any shame or guilt that comes out of the process.

Click Here for information about the facilitators

Past Calls:

SEPTEMBER 2017

Racial and Ethnic Minority Microaggressions At Work and At Home

Monday September 18th, 2017, 8-9:30pm EST, 5-6:30pm PST
Facilitated by Jessica Bleuer, MA, MEd., RDT & Adam Stevens

We invite members of color and racialized minorities to join together to share experiences of racism at work and at home. We hope to co-create a space where we can share the multiple feelings that arise from these daily injustices, self-care strategies, and insight about how to respond in professional or personal settings next time we are confronted with this form of racism.

Jessica Bleuer, MA, MEd, RDT, Psychotherapy Permit, is a Latina Canadian Jewish woman working in private practice and teaching Drama Therapy at Concordia University. Her doctoral research is on the topic of racial microagressions in higher education and she is the Diversity Chair for the NADTA.

Adam Stevens is an African American drama therapist who works with specially abled individuals and at risk youth. His research illuminates racialized roles and how they perform in clinical spaces.  Adam is developing an extension to Robert Landy's role taxonomy known as the Black American Role Taxonomy or the BART system.  Adam is the Student Committee Chair and Student Liaison for the NADTA.

Creative Arts Therapists of Color in Collaboration with NADTA
Institutional Racism & White Supremacy

Tuesday September 26th, 2017, 7:45pm-9:30pm
82 Washington Square East, Drama Therapy Studio/Basement (New York)

Facilitated by Dr. Nisha Sajnani, PhD, RDT-BCT & Yasmine Awais, MAAT, ATR-BC, ATCS, LCAT, LPC

We will hold a space for CATs of Color to be in a supportive community to discuss institutional racism and white supremacy. This meeting will be exclusively for CATs of Color. We will also share ongoing efforts with organizing around racial justice and dismantling systems of oppression.  RSVP required e-mail CATSOFCOLOR@GMAIL.COM

OCTOBER 2017

Beyond Good Intentions: White therapists practicing anti-racism

Monday October 2nd, 2017  8pm EST, 5pm PST
Facilitated by Marika Heinrichs, M.Ed, Registered Psychotherapist

In this dialogue we will identity and explore some of the ways that white supremacy culture can often shape and influence Western approaches to therapy. We will reflect on how we can become more aware of and able to challenge these dynamics in our work with clients and with each other. We'll also talk about how we can bring the skills and knowledge we have as therapists outside of the therapy office, and what we might have to offer to social movements working to address issues around race and other injustices in this political moment.

This dialogue is designed to support white therapists in reflecting on these issues in our work, but is open to anyone who is interested.

Some questions we'll explore during the call:
What responsibilities do we hold as therapists in naming and addressing racism?
What is "whiteness" and "white supremacy" and what are some common ways these things show up in our work?
What are some tools and practices we can use to challenge white supremacy in our work as therapists, and beyond?
What gets in the way, what are we afraid of? What holds us back?

Marika Heinrichs is a therapist and community organizer who grounds her practice in trauma-informed and body-based approaches to therapy. She works with youth, adults, and families from a diversity of backgrounds, including many clients on the LGBTTIQQ2S spectrum.

She has been engaged with anti-racist work for over 15 years, including long-term organizing with Indigenous communities in Northern Ontario, and the creation and implementation of anti-racist workshops for white folks in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is currently organizing with Showing Up for Racial Justice, a North American network committed to organizing white people for racial justice. She continues to explore the ways her work as a therapist can dove-tail with the work of decolonization and anti-racism. Marika is a white, Queer settler, living in Tkaronto/ Toronto, Canada.


 

Dispelling the Myth of Multiculturalism in Canada: Recognizing White Supremacy North of the Border

Wednesday October 4th at 8pm – 9:30pm EST, 5-6:30pm PST
Facilitated by
Christine Mayor, MA, RDT

A space for Canadian drama therapists or drama therapists situated in Canada

Since the events in Charlottesville, I have found myself in many conversations comparing Canada to our southern neighbours. Wrapped in the myth of multiculturalism, many white Canadians engage in a kind of celebratory and comparative rhetoric of “Canada the good.” Engaging in this discourse requires both historical amnesia and the denial of ongoing white supremacy within our borders. This talk will focus on Canadian legacies of colonization and injustice, the need for anti-racist organizing, and the role of drama therapy in confronting and challenging systemic and individual acts of harm.

Christine Mayor, MA, RDT is a white bicultural drama therapist living in Ontario, currently completing her doctoral studies in critical social policy within the social work department at Wilfrid Laurier University. Having moved a year ago from the U.S. to Canada, Christine has become increasingly interested in the ways different national identities shape white supremacy and its denial. She is the Associate Editor of Drama Therapy Review, adjunct faculty at Lesley University, and has published several articles focused on power and race in drama therapy.


 

Navigating the drama therapist's role: The connection between systemized oppression and intergenerational trauma of Black and Brown bodies in the U.S.

Monday October 9th, 5pm-6:30pm PST, 8-9:30pm EST
Facilitated by Mimi Savage, PhD, RDT-BCT

This call is open to everyone who wants to discuss the political, social and psychological roots of marginalization for Black and Brown Americans.  Please make sure to watch the documentary 13th (Netflex or rent).

This is a call that will be grounded in the viewing of the documentary 13th by filmmaker, Duvernay.  It is an educational forum that asks drama therapists of all races and ethnic backgrounds to consider the history of the client through the lens of government sourced intergenerational trauma and the workings of the U.S. Constitution.

It asks us to consider our own biases and prejudgement's as we navigate working with marginalized people. It asks us what we as drama therapists and citizens can do to end the machinations of the 13th amendment.

Mimi Savage, MA, PhD, RDT-BCT, I am a women, an RDT-BCT of color and educator.  
Dr. Savage is director of SoCal Drama Therapy Center, head of the expressive art therapy program at Recess Speech and Language Therapy, on the faculty of the UCLArts and Healing SEA program and Western region rep on the NADTA board.  After seeing this documentary I realized how little I know about the political machine and the role the U.S. Constitution plays in maintaining oppression as viable option for economic growth. This information undoubtedly affects me, my students and the clients I facilitate. I can not (in good conscience) facilitate without this historical and present day knowledge as I contain a space where oppression prevails.


 

Whiteness, White Supremacy and White Drama Therapists: Responding to Charlottesville

Monday, October 16, 2017  8-9:30pm EST, 5-6:30pm PST
Facilitated by Adam Reynolds LCSW,
RDT/BCT & Christina Opolko, MA, CCC

This is an open call to white therapists wishing to dialogue around the importance of interrogating and owning our whiteness and how it contributes to power, privilege and oppression in North American society. In this call, we will discuss our experiences, fears and goals as well as share resources for creating an inclusive practice, ways to be an ally, as well as brainstorm actions in response to institutionalized/systemic racism and anti-semitism.

Lets come together as white people to speak about our role in this struggle to unlearn racist habits and dismantle racist structures.

Adam Reynolds, LCSW, RDT/BCT -- Adam is a cis white gay male drama therapists in NYC who has a prickly relationship with his privilege. He is the Training Director at the Restless Playspace, the training institute for Developmental Transformations in New York City.

Christina Opolko, MA, CCC -- Christina is a white drama therapist in Montreal, Canada who is dedicated to creating inclusion and community inside and outside of the therapy space. 


Being a Jewish Creative Arts Therapist, Challenges, Identity & Nuance

Monday, October 23rd, 8-9:30pm EST, 5-6:30pm PST
Facilitated by Jessica Bleuer, Yehudit Silverman & Mira Rozenberg

A call for Jewish creative arts therapists of diverse racial and cultural backgrounds to talk about our identities, internalized anti-Semitism, privilege, whiteness, "passing" and responding to anti-Semitism and other intersecting forms of oppression in our work, our lives and our communities.

Yehudit Silverman MA, R-DMT, RDT is Chair of the Department of CATS, and an award winning filmmaker. Yehudit recently directed an innovative project called Seeds of Hope in collaboration with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts working with diverse communities affected by suicide. The project culminated in a featured exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts of masks made by community participants. Her current film project Interfaith Arts Dialogue brings together Jewish, Christian, and Muslim communities to work together through the arts. 

Mira Rozenberg, MA, RDT/BCT, OPQ (Psychotherapy Permit);  is a Jewish West Coast Canadian drama therapist, supervisor, and part time teacher at Concordia University in Montreal. She is on the training faculty of DvT Montreal and passionate about engaging the whole body in the healing process. She is a yoga teacher and Thai Yoga massage therapist, and now is in training to become a doula. She serves on the board of the Quebec Chapter of NADTA.

Jessica Bleuer, MA, MEd, RDT, Psychotherapy Permit, is a Latina Canadian Jewish woman working in private practice and teaching Drama Therapy at Concordia University. Her doctoral research is on the topic of racial microagressions in higher education and she is the Diversity Chair for the NADTA.


KNOW YOUR ROLE

Monday, October 30th, 2017  5pm EST, 2pm PST
Facilitated by Adam Stevens, MA & Charisse Brown, RDT, LCAT

KNOW YOUR ROLE is open to all clinicians regardless of race or ethnicity.

The idea is to allow space for practitioners to develop our relative therapeutic roles when dealing with race in the clinical space. To illuminate historical representations of Black Americans through the lens of appropriated roles and racial stereotypes contributing to centuries of historical trauma.

How do drama therapists of color and other clinicians of color experience these roles clinically and in the world at large?

How can all therapists embrace these stereotypes/archetypes to support minority clients in re-authoring narratives that are meaningful and empowering, healing?

For exploration and discussion…

Development of culturally competent methodologies aimed at empowering clients of color.  This will allow persons of color to take back narratives often realized by others in the role of puppeteer.

Creative arts therapists will be encouraged to adapt and create interventions/methodologies. This will address the performance of racial identity directly in the clinical space through the use of drama therapy and other arts based modalities. (I.e. The Black American Role Taxonomy, or the BART System, an expansion on Robert Landy’s Role Taxonomy found in Role Theory and Role Method.)

Support growth and healing in response to centuries of historical trauma.

Suggested Reading:

Strausbaugh, J. (2007). Black like you: blackface, whiteface, insult & imitation in American popular culture. Penguin.

 DiAngelo, R. (2011). White fragility. The International Journal of Critical Pedagogy3(3).

Adam Stevens is an African American drama therapist who works with specially abled individuals and at risk youth. His research illuminates racialized roles and how they perform in clinical spaces.  Adam is developing an extension to Robert Landy's role taxonomy known as the Black American Role Taxonomy or the BART system.  Adam is the Student Committee Chair and Student Liaison for the NADTA.

Charisse Brown, RDT, LCAT, is an African American drama therapist who works with incarcerated teens at a secure juvenile detention center, where, in her work, she provides the context for neglected, traumatized and abused residents to tell their stories, set goals, solve problems, express feelings and achieve catharsis. As a roster artist for the Westchester Arts Council, Charisse has facilitated arts-in-education workshops in schools and in after school programs with various populations throughout Westchester and New York City.  She has a deep concern (and first-hand experience) regarding racial inequality in the criminal justice system and the effects of white privilege in that system, and how appropriated roles and stereotypes play out in the lives of her students.

NOVEMBER 2017

Attending rallies is not enough: Navigating conversations around white supremacy with our family, friends, and fellow white folks across the divide

Postponed until further notice
Facilitated by Lizzie McAdam, MA, RDT

As white people who are working to identify, understand and combat white supremacy in all of it’s many forms, it is important for us to engage with people who we know personally on all sides of the political spectrum. Attending rallies with like-minded people is a good first step and it can feel cathartic and energizing, but if the work stops here how do we truly encounter the “other side?” How does change happen? Many times opportunities for these uncomfortable, painful conversations around race and privilege exist right in our own backyards. How can you talk to a coworker, family member or friend when they make a racist comment? This forum is intended for white creative arts therapists interested in discussing when and how to have these conversations with other white folks, but is open to anyone interested in the topic. 

Lizzie McAdam, MA, RDT is the Associate Director of the ALIVE Program at the Post Traumatic Stress Center in New Haven, Connecticut, providing trauma-centered drama therapy services in both clinical and public school settings. She is also an adjunct faculty member at New York University. As a former educator-turned-drama therapist, she is interested in examining systems of power, privilege and oppression within educational settings and working with students to connect their lived experience to their learning process.


Strategizing Anti-Racist Efforts

Friday November 10th, 2017: 5:00pm EST, 4:00pm CST, 2:00pm PST
Facilitated by Nada Khashaba & Charlotte Steuter Martin, MA

This call will focus around brainstorming strategies to counter racism and white supremacy. This conversation is open to creative arts therapists and other mental health professionals from diverse racial backgrounds. The aim of the call will be to share ideas and strategies around:

 Daily bigotry and speaking up
Using our privilege to fight back
 Ways to support grassroots movements
 How to support our clients
 Forms of resistance

10 Participants Maximum

Nada Khashaba is completing her Master's in Creative Arts Therapies at Concordia University. She/they are currently writing heuristic research on her cultural learning experiences working with Indigenous clients, and is especially commited to working within racialized communities.

Charlotte Steuter-Martin, MA is drama therapist who recently graduated from Concordia University. She is currently working at the Post Traumatic Stress Center in New Haven, Connecticut as a clinician and in the ALIVE program with children, adolescents, and adults with trauma. 


Beyond Good Intentions: White Therapists Practicing Anti-Racisism

Monday, November 20th, 5:00pm EST, 4:00pm, CST, 2:00pm PST
Facilitated by Marika Henreichs, MEd.

In this dialogue, we will identify and explore some of the ways that white supremacy culture can often shape and influence Western approaches to therapy. We will reflect on how we can be more aware of and able to challenge these dynamics in our work with clients and with each other. We'll also talk about how we can bring the skills and knowledge that we have as therapists outside of the therapy office, and what we might have to offer to social movements working to address issues around race and other injustices in this political moment.

Marika Heinrichs is a therapist and community organizer who grounds her practice in trauma-informed and body-based approaches to therapy. 


A Call About Microaggressions

Wednesday November 29th, 8:00pm EST, 7:00pm CST, 5:00pm PST
Facilitated by Azizi Marshall & Carlos Rodriguez Perez

The impact of microaggressions, strategies for self-care and responding.

Azizi Marshall is a Drama Therapist and  Founder & CEO of Center for Creative Arts Therapy.

Carlos Rodriguez Perez is a Drama Therapist and  Former NADTA President, 2017 NADTA Diversity Award, Director & Drama Therapist at Kings County Hospital Center

JANUARY 2018

Tools for Revolution and Change

Monday January 8th, 2017, 8:00PM EST, 5:00PM PST
Facilitated by Alexis Powell, MA & Britton Williams, MA

A skill-share workshop for drama therapists to encounter and share specific tools and exercises for opening up dialogues around difference and challenging systems of oppression.

MARCH 2018

Drama Therapy and Intersectionality in Clinical and Educational Settings
Sunday, March 25 at 5:30pm Pst (8:30pm Est)

What does intersectionality mean to you in your work?
Where do you see intersectionality present in your work?
What are some of the challenges in incorporating intersectionality into our work?

Please join Danielle Levanas and Kamran Afary to explore these questions in relation to your own work and practice.

Danielle Levanas, MA, RDT, LCAT
MA Drama Therapy, New York University
Danielle has worked in a number of clinical settings, including forensic psychiatry, addiction treatment, and within high-school and other educational systems. Danielle holds an advanced certification from the International Trauma Studies Program, and she has led workshops and training programs internationally in Ghana, Liberia, and Germany. She was a member of the Big Apple Playback Theatre Company for 9 years, and she has studied at the Developmental Transformations (DvT) Institute East

KAMRAN AFARY, PH.D
Kamran Afary is an Assistant Professor of Intersectional Identities and Relationships and a recipient of the 2016 Outstanding Lecturer Award at Cal State LA. He is the author of Performance and Activism: Grassroots Discourse after the Los Angeles Rebellion of 1992 (Lexington Books 2009). He is a member of the Diversity Committee in the North American Drama Therapy Association and has taught interpersonal communication to prisoners and worked extensively with Middle Eastern and South Asian refugee-immigrant populations. He is currently working collaboratively on a book manuscript about the diaspora journeys of Iranian-Americans. Afary received his PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University.  He is the author of Performance and Activism: Grass Roots Discourse after the Los Angeles Rebellion of 1992, and received the Outstanding Lecturer Award California State University Los Angeles 2016.

APRIL 2018

Overcoming Stigmas: An Interactive Dialogue on the Intersection of Multicultural Diversity and Disability
When: Monday, April 23rd at 5:00pm PST and 8:00pm EST

Diana Elizabeth Jordan will help participants understand and explore-
1. The intersection of multicultural identity and disability perspectives
2. A brief historical context of the disability and civil rights movements. 
3.Tools to explore and challenge stigma in your practice and community 

Diana Elizabeth Jordan, MFA, OTA is an awarding winning Actor, Storyteller -Speaker, Expressive Arts Facilitator, Artist Educator and Activist.
Diana has been cast in over 40 plays, television shows, films and documentaries. She is also featured in a book featuring multi disciplined artists with disabilities from around the world. She is a member of SAG-AFTRA and AEA. Diana was first actress with a disability (cerebral palsy which mildly affects her speech and gait) to graduate with a MFA in Acting from California state University Long Beach and is one of the featured artists in Liliana Moldovan's new book Eroii Imposibilului, a book featuring multi-disciplined artists with disabilities from around the world. 
Diana also holds a certificate in Social, Emotional Arts (UCLA 2014) and is studying drama therapy at the Los Angeles Drama Therapy Institute.
Diana launched her expressive arts production company The Rainbow Butterfly Café  in 2015, because of her passion for the transformative power of the performing and expressive arts. She offers ( through the RBC) one person shows, performance lectures and expressive arts based workshops that celebrate multicultural inclusion and disability intersectionality, triumphing over adversity and foster personal growth and professional development.

MAY 2018

Calling it Out: Size Discrimination and Weight Bias an Advocacy Approach

When: May 23rd, 2018. 5:30pm Pst/8:30pm Est
Click Here to Join the Equity Call

Diet culture and fat-phobia can be pervasive causing immense personal and societal harm. This call will give a brief introduction to Health At Every Size® Principles and how this approach can be explored in creative-based ways in the clinical space and within an advocacy context.

Kristy Fassio
Kristy is the former founder of (Fit From Within) a personal training and size inclusive organization in the Seattle, WA area. Though, she is no longer a personal trainer Kirsty loves to help people find peace around movement and their bodies. Kirsty is also a contributor to the popular blog (Girls Gone Strong). She is working towards her MA in Counseling. Kristy has an extensive theater background and is very interested in the arts as means of individual and social change, in particular how our own internal monologues can help or hinder our authentic selves. She is also a member of the Association for Size Diversity and Health and is an advocate for size diversity.

Liah Rozenman, MA, RDT, LCAT
Liah is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist and a Registered Drama Therapist in private practice in NYC. She holds a BFA in Drama and an MA in Drama Therapy from New York University. Liah holds a Level I training certification in Developmental Transformations drama therapy from the Institute for the Arts in Psychotherapy. She has worked as a drama therapist in varied settings helping individuals with eating disorders and body image issues, adults and young adults with anxiety, veterans struggling with complex PTSD, the elderly, and individuals with both visual impairment and developmental disabilities. 

Stephanie Wichmann, LICSW, RDT
Stephanie is a licensed clinical social worker and drama therapist living in the Pacific Northwest. She has worked across the age spectrum in a variety of settings such as hospitals, community health organizations, and schools. Areas of specialization have included working with those with chronic illness, eating disorders, body image, LGBTQIA youth and adults. She is the recent Diversity Committee Chair and is grateful to be part of important equity and cultural humility conversations. She is passionate about inclusion and inviting NADTA members to have a platform and to take action in their own communities or sharing what advocacy efforts are happening. She is also a member of the Association for Size Diversity and Health.

AUGUST 2018

Carousel of Culture: How to stay informed and grounded as the LGBTQQIP2SPAAK community spins, grows and expands

August 21st: 5:30pm PST/8:30pm EST
Facilitated by Craig Flickinger, MA, RDT, LCAT

In this Equity Call, we are to discuss what exactly  (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Pansexual, Two Spirit, Asexual, Ally and Kink) means and thoughts on how specific labels can empower also understanding the choice to not identify with any labels. 

How do we respect our past, be mindful of our present, and look ahead to our future? With trends in social justice how do we keep up in the ever-evolving nature of the queer community? And how do we address intersectionality as we evolve, ensuring no one is left behind?  Let's discuss moments of clarity, glaring errors, or times when a client has corrected how they wished to be addressed? What tools can we develop as queer communities and allys? Please join us in this dialogue.

Craig Flickinger is a graduate of Concordia University’s Drama Therapy Program, a Registered Drama Therapist, and a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist. He resides in New York. LGBTQIA and gender equality/equity are areas of passion and interest, in addition to attachment theory. He’s often found with a book or iced coffee in hand when he isn’t trying to dismantle the patriarchy or using his voice and privileges to make the world a more hospitable place.

JUNE 2018

A Community Call to Action: Standing up For Children and Families
When: June 28th 5pm PST/8pm EST. 
Click Here to Join the Call

During the last two months, more than 2000 undocumented children have been separated from their parents and detained. While the current administration has declared an end to their policy of separating children from their families at the border, families fleeing violence are still being criminalized for their attempts to survive, and it is still unclear about what will happen with the 2000 children currently detained. As mental health professionals we know about the psychological and neurological impacts caused by these kinds of separations.

These xenophobic policies impact our members, clients and communities.

  • Airlines are refusing to fly children without their families,
  • Petitions and fundraisers are being organized
  • Michael Moore calls for civil disobedience

What are we as drama therapists willing to do?

Join other drama therapists on Thursday June 28th, 5pm PST/8pmEST and use any feelings of concern to strategize and find our collective power to fuel action.

Click Here to View in Spanish




Healing from our colonial past: How can Drama Therapy help us heal from generations of trauma? 

When: June 11th 5pm PST/8pm EST. 
Click Here to Join the Call

This Racial Justice Diversity call will be a space to speak about the intergenerational trauma experience. It will be facilitated by a Metis storyteller Jesse Thistle and a first year Drama Therapy student Bill Yong. It will begin with Jesse’s story as a young Metis man from Winnipeg and his journey processing his own Intergenerational Trauma. We will then open the discussion in exploring how Drama Therapy and the mental health can help present clients heal from generations of trauma and oppression. 

Jesse Thistle
Jesse Thistle is a road allowance Metis from Saskatchewan. His thesis topic relates to intergenerational trauma. As a researcher at the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, he just released the national definition of Indigenous homelessness. A former addict and homeless person, Jesse kindly agreed to share his experience with us. 

Bill Yong
Bill Yong is a second generation Chinese immigrant studying Drama Therapy at Concordia University in Montreal. As a intergenerational trauma survivor, he is interested in how Drama Therapy can help facilitate the processing of intergenerational trauma. His research project explores the use of self-revelatory performance in the processing of his own intergenerational trauma. 

OCTOBER 2018

Older Adults: Barriers to Access and Engagement

October 16th at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST
Facilitated by
 Jenni Smith-Peers, Kari Rogenski, Rosimar Hernandez, & Mary Farkas 

CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE CALL AT THE TIME SCHEDULED

Older Adults continue to be marginalized in many ways, often stepping into “invisibility”, while navigating the complexities of stigma and aging. The NADTA has recently formed a Older Adults sub-committee to address the use of Drama Therapy in the Older Adults Act along with revisions to the NADTA website on Older Adults. This call will explore the use of drama therapy and the creative arts to promote healing and community engagement. There will be exploration of the challenges faced as students and professionals in finding internships, focused teachings in school, and support in this drama therapy/creative arts work. We can discuss our current or prior work with Older Adults and seek solutions on how we can encourage others to help break down those barriers. Please join us in this dialogue led by four trusted clinicians who have diverse older adult experience working in private practice, agency/community settings, hospitals, veterans affairs and for national non-profits.


ABOUT THE FACILITATORS

Jenni Smith-Peers, MA

Jennie combines her management experience and leadership in advocacy with a passion for the arts and aging. Prior to joining Iona Senior Services as their Director of Development in 2018, Jennie was the Executive Director of the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA), leading the nation in supporting capacity building and arts advocacy for older adults. Prior to her tenure at NCCA, Jennie served as Executive Director of Elders Share the Arts in New York. Her love of working with older adults began during her time as an AmeriCorps member, which focused on supporting the health and well-being of older adults in Tennessee. Subsequently, this led Jennie to lead parallel careers as a professional actress and an administrator in aging. Jennie holds a BFA from Emerson College and earned a Masters in Drama Therapy from NYU. She has a particular love in the intersection of health policy, aging and the arts, and building the capacity of clinicians and artists to serve older adults.
 

Kari Rogenski, MA, LMFT, RDT

Kari is the current Vice President of the NADTA. Kari holds a master’s degree in Counselling Psychology (Drama Therapy) from CIIS. She is an experienced RDT who had the pleasure of chairing the 2016 NADTA conference in Seattle. She is director of The Hummingbird Project, a concierge therapeutic activity program for seniors provided by Sage Eldercare Solutions. The Hummingbird Project employs creative arts therapists and teaching artists to work one-on-one with older adults, and the program also provides arts based group programs in long term care communities. Kari is co-creator of Joyful Moments: Meaningful Activities to Engage Older Adults and she presents both locally and nationally educating gerontologists and elder care professionals about creative aging and therapeutic activities.
 

Rosimar Hernandez, MA, LCAT, RDT

Rosimar completed her Masters of Drama Therapy from New York University. Currently, she works as a Creative Arts Therapist through the VA Pittsburg Healthcare Systems. She has extensive experience working with veterans and military service members using drama for change. She is also passionate about LGBTQIA issues and advocacy. Rosimar has worked on Dementia and Alzheimer’s Units and assists Veterans to restore social and cognitive functioning, develop coping skills, and integrate into community settings.
 

Mary Farkas MA, LCAT, RDT

Mary holds both a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drama and Applied Theatre and a Master of Arts degree in Drama Therapy from New York University.  She is Licensed Creative Arts Therapist, a Registered Drama Therapist, and a Certified Dementia Practitioner through the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners. She is currently the Director of Therapeutic Arts and Enrichment Programs at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale. Her clinical interests are in the intersection of geriatrics, dementia, end of life care and mental health.  Her current focus is on exploring how the arts support resilience for both caregivers and care partners in health care settings.

Mary has collaborated with multiple museums to design and facilitate intergenerational art-looking programs for people living with memory loss, including the Museum of Modern Art.  She has and continues to serve in multiple positions with the NADTA, including registry committee and a special council on older adults.  Mary also regularly presents at conferences and provides trainings on dementia care, hospice and mental health.