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Spotlight on COVID-19: An Interview with Saharra Dixon, MA, CHES®

My name is Saharra Dixon and I am a CHES® and Community-engaged Theatre Artist. As a Health Educator, my main area of practice is using the arts in health and theatre to promote health education. I received my BS in Health Behavior Science and Public Health from University of Delaware and my MA in Applied Theatre from NYU. Currently, I also work as a Sexual Health Educator at CAMBA, Inc. in Brooklyn, NY and I recently picked up some part-time work as a Lead Investigation Specialist with the Indiana State Department of Health's COVID-19 Contact Tracing program….which is fascinating!

I am truly passionate about the arts' ability to foster change across cultures and backgrounds, and inspire others working at the intersections of arts and health. Local arts and cultural resources, and artists themselves, are one of the most powerful and readily available resources to support community connection, wellbeing and recovery. Arts in Health is not a new field, but it has certainly been gaining some ground in recent years.

COVID-19 has affected us in more ways than we could have ever imagined. Behind the headlines and numbers are real, everyday people who’ve got something to say! The project I am working on is The #StayHome Project. The following is from the University of Florida's Center for Arts in Medicine's COVID-19 Arts Response Repository:

"In an effort to foster a sense of community and learn more about community needs, Saharra is facilitating a virtual collaborative process that explores what home and community means during the COVID-19 crisis. The project includes interviewing people around the country about their experiences during the crisis. From this data, Saharra and her colleagues hope to create a documentary theatre-style culminating piece that highlights community resources, wants, and needs with an emphasis on a "call to action". More so, Saharra hopes to explore the mental health benefits of participating in a drama process during the crisis.”

This 3-month long community-engaged virtual process that I led helped me to better understand community needs and resilience. I invite you to the ensemble of The #StayHome Project through a virtual play experience on Saturday, June 20th, 2020 at 2:30 pm and 8:00 pm EST via Zoom! You can register for this event through this link: https://lnkd.in/dUhePBX.

While attendance is free, please consider making a donation to The #StayHome Project. We are raising $2,500 to support our artists and collaborators. A percentage will be donated to Black-led organizations at the forefront of arts, health, and/or social justice: https://lnkd.in/dgEXgbs.

I am available to guide community members and students in their own change processes. I am skilled in exploring issues in reproductive justice, maternal and child health, adolescent health, minority health, and sexual health. We turn to the arts in challenging times because they help us to heal, to share stories, to make meaning, and to drive collective action and social change. I invite you to connect with me on Instagram @thedramatichealtheducator or by visiting www.thedramatichealtheducator.com.

 

Posted by Jessica Wessner at 6:00 AM
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