May in Mental Health Month: “In it Together”
My Voice Media Center, housed inside the Arts Consortium, is a Project that is based on aiding those in the community that have lived-experienced mental illness in their lives through the use of artistic expression, writing, music, and art-based technology like video production and sound. We offer a connection to the community that is based on the idea that our talented Facilitators provide Free Art Sessions coupled with the mental health tools and awareness that the individuals need. Wellness and recovery focused we provide many opportunities for participants to become involved, social, connecting and creating.
(Images: From the Top-Rebecca Haigh's Acrylic Painting Session, Olivia Garza's 2D and 3D Art Session, Francisco Alonso's Printmaking Session, Michael Alvarez's Photography Session, Phet Kamsaysoury's Photo and Video Editing Sessions; 2021 Photography and Screenshots by Halonnah Kay and Olivia Garza, MVMC)
Presentation of their work happens in the PEER ART GALLERY, where they are able to sell their artwork to the public, be recognized as a member of the arts community and have achievable goals in mind. The PEER ART GALLERY features one of our artists per month, giving a spotlight to their art. Our featured Peer Artist for May, Mental health month, all of our Participants will be recognized along with our theme, “In it Together”. We will have artworks, videos, and much more for the First Friday Show.
(Image: Art by Olivia Garza; 2021)
We combine our Sessions to the Participant with an opportunity to write for the No Stigma Speaker’s Bureau, or NSSB. The participants write individually, learning how to tell their mental health story and how they receive services at My Voice Media Center. They learn how to refine their story through careful editing in our NSSB meetings, where we also plan for presentations with organizations within our community. These organizations like Police and Fire, Hospitals and Wellness Centers, benefit from the stories that we are able to present, by hearing first-hand the My Voice Media Center’s Participant’s stories.
(Image: Signs for the Mayhem 2021 video Production starts: April 20, 2021-10:30-12:30; Video is edited in the Video Editing Session with Phet Kamsaysoury)
Other activities happen here at MY VOICE MEDIA CENTER, like the Installation Project, entitled, “Our World, Our Perspective”. This Project which encompasses an entire corner of the Arts Consortium and is spread out to encompass the entire studio for May, is created almost completely by the Participants. The Participants created a Committee months ahead of time and have provided feedback to each other, connecting to each other during our public Thursday Check-Ins. The project is made up of umbrellas, a framework made up of tent poles, and many flowers and raindrops. The pieces, such as the umbrellas, raindrops and flowers were made during the 2D and 3D Art Session, with Olivia Garza, who is also our Peer Support Specialist. This installation is the first ever for MVMC, and will continue throughout May for Mental Health Month, becoming an interactive part for the First Friday Show.