We empower women artists living with mental health disabilities to harness their artistic abilities in an supportive and experimental community. This new initiative is in need of artists who want to rely on each other for motivation and accountability both in and outside of the art studio. Keep scrolling to learn how.
What Does The Artistic Type Do
The Artistic Type is an interdisciplinary arts collective and event series dedicated to offering free, innovative events that blend creative writing, visual art, and performance for BIPOC women living with mental health disabilities in Austin, TX. We focus on exploration, expression, and compassion for one's self as a way of being artistic and living a fruitful, fun life.
We're founded on feminist, co-op principles to ensure that everyone within our collective is treated equally. No one's role is more important than the rest (including mine and I'm the founder) and everyone's ideas are treated with respect.
In 2003, I attended a small, faith-based college in New Rochelle. It was nearly twenty acres with an old castle in the center of the campus. It was in this environment that I got involved with The Student Theatre Ensemble, a student-run theatre troupe committed to producing plays on our terms, choosing scripts that ranged from experimental to anti-war and back again.
But at the time I didn't know that I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This mental illness can be fruitful to my artistic projects. But in the current arts classes and groups, there isn't much accommodations for people with mental health disabilities. My art isn't part-time or just a hobby; I use it to often capture the messy state of my inner life. Doing the work, healing, recovery, and repeat - these are inherent to the artistic process whether I want it or not. But I accept it, fall in love with the process, and feel satisfied with the results.
By facilitating these programs for TAT members and the general public, we focus on lowering barriers of access to artistic expression.
We aim to create tangible relationships between our art-making and how it can be therapeutic. Our art should be for us first and foremost! A monthly art therapy program helps us nurture that relationship by finding contemplative ways to approach and make art.
Once we have enough members, we come together to brainstorm on the type of event we'd like to organize. We opt for ingenuity and thriftiness, ensuring we use only what we need to craft an event. We'll produce 1-2 experimental plays. And the reason for a play is because we can incorporate multiple disciplines (i.e. visual arts, storytelling, acting, technical production, and more).
In addition to putting on a show, we also keep our skills and perspectives evolving through conversations and skillshares. These members-only gatherings are done dinner-party style, creating a comfortable and warm environment for everyone to discuss topics about big ideas or themes that we can explore. Our workshops are open to the public and meant to teach easy, fun craft projects. Members can attend and/or facilitate these workshops, enabling them to expand their sklllset and earn some money!
We share food, get to know each other, and learn more about how The Artistic Type works and where you might see yourself within the collective. That said, it's always enjoyable to be surrounded by like-minded folks. And the solidarity of women in an inclusive space can be comforting. So even if you're not entirely sure you want to join, come along anyway.
Our next session is happening soon. In the meantime, please fill out a form so we can keep you updated and learn more about you.
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