To explore, develop, and practice creativity
as a means of wellness
Exploring the health of our community
through the reflective lens of the arts.
What We Do
Well Arts Institute partners with area organizations to provide a platform – a public forum to talk about the issues that face their members and communities.
- Through the creation of a new work for the theatre, partners are able to share their messages through staged ‘cultural interventions’.
- These productions become an important force for advancing discussion of sensitive cultural issues.
Our process begins with a series of workshops that focus on writing techniques for the stage, blending documentary theatre, oral history, and playwriting. Next, the writers move into production, working with theatre professionals to use the writing produced in the workshop to create a new work for the theatre.
By connecting our community through stage work we offer a safe space to have public conversations about how we can heal together.
- Building bridges through creative collaborations often leads to continued cultural conversations initiated by the workshops and performances, into the larger cultural context beyond the performance realm to have a more ongoing involvement and a more lasting impact on the cultural issues it uncovers.
Who We Serve
Each workshop and production is a unique collaboration between people, artists and organizations. Well Arts is able to serve diverse populations, facing a wide range of health and social issues.
Our collaborations provide the writing participants a space to become mentors, gain confidence, become artistic collaborators developing a cohesive new work for the theatre. Many writing participants become clarion voices in their communities by sharing their stories with audiences.
Concurrently, the productions serve our partnering organizations by promoting the work they do. Well Arts is able to advocate for people our partners serve by celebrating and honoring their members and community through the stage presentations.
- Providing individuals and their families creative writing tools that offer a kind of perspective that is unique to creating theatre allows some participants to gain new insights into some experiences.
- Exploring the health of our community through partnerships with organizations that focus on social and cultural issues that can have deleterious effects on our hearts, minds and bodies.
- Identifying under – recognized cultural issues and those populations affected to collaborate on writing for the theatre workshops, allows for conversations that may not or cannot happen in political or social spheres.
- We support the participants by offering them a creative space to develop their experiences into imaginative, theatrical presentations in collaboration with professional actors and stage directors, with experience creating new work.
How We Began
Well Arts Institute began in 2000, as a part of the Artists Repertory Theatre‘s community and education outreach. In a partnership with OHSU, cancer patients were offered the opportunity to write stories of their experiences. Actors performed the stories written by the cancer patients as a companion piece to the mainstage production. It proved a life changing experience for the writers, actors and audiences and had an extended run.