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PINTIGAN/Art for the heart+body+mind

PINTIGAN/Art for the heart+body+mind
Promoting youth mental health and wellness through art and music 

PINTIGAN/Art for the heart+body+mind was a one-day event organized by the Philippine Centre Canada with funding support from the Public Health Agency of Canada through the Canadian Red Cross. Held last February 19, the workshop served as a take-off event of the project, “Promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing Among Filipino-Canadian Youth Through Art and Music”.  The resource person/facilitator of the workshop was Dr. Dennis Gupa, theatre artist/director and currently, is affiliated as Assistant Professor of the Department of Theatre and Film of the University of Winnipeg. A total of sixteen people attended the workshop, comprising of 8 artists and counsellors, 1 facilitator, 3 PCC Board members, and 2 staff.

The workshop began with an introduction to the purpose and objectives of the event. The facilitator then introduced various movement exercises that were designed to help participants explore their emotions and express them through physical movements. Through these exercises, the participants were able to identify and share their thoughts and feelings in a safe environment. The second part of the workshop focused on sound – using music and sound as mediums for self-expression. The participants were encouraged to create their own sounds and to share them with the group. Through this activity, the group explored the power of sound to evoke emotions and express their innermost feelings. The third part of the workshop focused on visual arts, using drawings to explore and express emotions. Through this activity, participants were able to explore the power of art to tell stories and expressthemselves without words. The fourth part of the workshop focused on writing, using poems and other written forms to explore and express emotions. Through this activity, the participants were able to explore the power of words to tell stories, express feelings, and imagine new possibilities.

Dr. Gupa facilitated the workshop creatively and efficiently as he focused on the Filipino intrinsic values of pakikipagkapwa (brotherhood/sisterhood), pagiging matatag sa gitna ng unos (steadfastness in the midst of the storm), pagiging malakas sa pagbabago at estado sa buhay (being strong in change and state of life), and pagpupugay sa mga nakakatanda (honoring the elderly). He was able to touch the hearts and emotions of participants through movements, sounds and visuals, as well as weaving different artistic and creative methods into the process.

PINTIGAN was a great success, the event provided a safe and welcoming space for the participants to explore and express themselves through art and music. It was an experience that the artists and counsellors can apply in workshops with Filipino-Canadian youth later on. The organizers hoped that the event will have a lasting impact on the local community and help to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

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