By Kasey Varga June 19, 2013
The EXA program is now supporting Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) with their Healing Through the Arts program (HTTA). We are very excited about all of the opportunities this partnership will create for our students and alumni as well as the CCHS community!
Recently, two of our students Jill Therrien Ringler and Shauna DeGuire, took on the task of archiving a large body of artwork donated to HTTA by an organization formerly known as ArtsChange.
According to ArtsChange founder Ann Schneke:
"ArtsChange began in 1996 as a staff initiative, developed into a non-profit and involved hundreds of artists, clinic workers, patients and other activists in building over one hundred original exhibitions and performances. It was guided by the belief that a wide range of ecological, social, historical and cultural influences impacts individual and community health and that these influences can be used to make exciting art. Their goal was to promote change, health and wellbeing in Richmond and in other stressed communities in the East Bay"
Jill and Shauna's job was to literally dig through the basement of the Richmond Health center and discover treasures. They had the opportunity to hear first hand about the impact these works of art had on the community. They worked along side Ann Schneke, founder and director of ArtsChange, and Dr. Alan Siegel, Program Chair for Contra Costa's Healing Through the Arts Program.
In the end, they archived 250 pieces of art, and the hallway for the new West County Regional Medical Center (WCHC -- one of the 10 community clinics operated by Contra Costa County) in San Pablo was designed. On April 17, WCHC hosted an opening and dedication to celebrate "Bringing our seventeen year history and the soul of ArtsChange onto the walls of WCHC."