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Home > About > News and Events > News > Guild News > Walker Murphy Discusses Arts Education as a Space for Healing

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Walker Murphy Discusses Arts Education as a Space for Healing

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Feb 19, 2016

Writing in Teachers & Writers Magazine, Robyne Walker Murphy, Guild director of membership development and engagement, details how DreamYard Art Center used a half-day program of visual art, poetry, and music to help high school-aged students contextualize, process, and heal from the death of Trayvon Martin. She explains that, in response to the George Zimmerman verdict, the DreamYard staff decided to devote a portion of the day specifically to the topic—ultimately giving the young people involved a chance to give voice to their thoughts, frustrations, and anger.

“It was important for us to counter silence by giving our participants the opportunity to voice their pain. We wanted to create the space where their anger and sadness could be held. This was not going to be any other day, this was exceptional; this was a tragic loss, and we will not get used to it,” Walker Murphy writes. “We will mourn it. We will try to heal, but we will also resist.  We will use our art and creativity to breathe life into death. Trayvon will not die in vain. Our education space must also be a space of healing.”

The article explores how visual art, poetry, and music can be used as starting points for deeper discussions around police violence and institutional racism. Walker Murphy observes that, by the end of the day, the participants had formed a new sense of connectedness. The day’s program reinforced the notion that, when given the opportunity, we can “stop the world for a moment to interrupt injustice and heal our hearts.”

Read the full article here.

This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.