On March 16, a spirited group gathered in Studio One at Granoff Center for the Creative Arts on Brown’s campus. It was “The Power of Partnerships on College Hill and Beyond,” ASaP’s 7th symposium, and the day was spent celebrating the partnerships and the people who make our work possible at the intersection of art and science.
Those gathered represented Dance for All People (DAPpers), Dance with PD (Parkinson’s disease), The Miracle Project (TMP, an inclusive theater-arts programs for people on the autism spectrum), researchers working in the field of arts-based health programming, and students and friends of ASaP. The focus was on the people and programs who are making a difference through collaboration and community work.
The community Dance for PD class got us moving as dozens of dancers of all ages and abilities were led by David Leventhal and Rachel Balaban. Former ASaP student and TA Melanie Ambler provided the dancers with the gift of live cellist accompaniment.
Following the class, we had a lecture demonstration highlighting Donald McKayle’s Rainbow Etude performed by DAPpers, Central Falls High School and Brown Extension dancers and professional dancers from Dancing Legacy. A special treat was watching the DAPpers and Central Falls High School dancers perform original pieces illustrating their interpretation of the Rainbow etude themes of oppression and freedom.
(To watch Lec/Dem videos, return to the events page.)
A showcase followed in the afternoon, highlighting some of our partnerships. It was a thrill to see The Miracle Project New England (TMP/NE) summer campers have their ASaP Symposium debut. TMP/NE partners with Brown and the RI Philharmonic, which has hosted the week-long camp for the last two years. On this day, several camp participants showed us what they learned last summer and how much they enjoy singing and dancing.
The second part of the showcase was a conversation between Stacey Springs and Melanie Ambler discussing the power of partnerships. Stacey is a researcher in the Center of Evidence Synthesis in Brown’s School of Public Health and Melanie, Brown ‘18.5, concentrated in and is bound for France to study the effects of movement and dementia. Listening to their conversation was a powerful reminder of how important mentorship is for both the student and the advisor. The exchange of energy between both parties is key.
The day ended with a Design Thinking workshop led by Allison Inglesbe, an experienced DT facilitator. With Allison’s guidance, innovative ideas were generated around art and healing, encouraging us to think big, have fun and create solutions without censoring ourselves.
The result was a wide range of solutions that challenged all to think in new and creative ways.
The day long symposium once again demonstrated the power of our existing partnerships and the drive to expand our work by creating and developing more partnerships. We’re better together.