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Storytelling and the Creative Journey to Wellness
ARTogether and Asian Health Services invite you to join a panel discussion on May 26th at 6pm PST with AAPI creatives and clinicians about art and storytelling as tools for mental health and wellness.
Each of us carries a multitude of stories that define who we are and where we belong—in the world and within our communities. Our stories, in turn, shape the spaces that we move through. With so much happening in the world around us, we may be bombarded with conflicting stories, thoughts and feelings that make it hard for us to connect to the most important stories – our own.
Edward Gunawan (Project: Press Play), Michelle Lin (A House Made of Water) and Esmé Weijun Wang (The Collected Schizophrenias) will share their work in media and literature and discuss the role art and story played in their wellness journeys: and how art can be a tool for mental health and wellness. Jennifer Chen, PsyD (Clinical Supervisor) and Shirley Chen, APCC (Mental Health Counselor) from Asian Health Services will join the conversation and share community resources and wellness practices.
We invite you to share your questions with our panelists! There will be an opportunity to ask questions at the event; and, participants can submit questions in the registration link, above.
(Illustration by Elbert Lim for Project: Press Play.)
Edward Gunawan is a writer and interdisciplinary filmmaker based in Oakland, CA. A queer immigrant from Indonesia and of Chinese heritage, Gunawan integrates elements and practices from the literary, cinematic, visual, and performing arts to create work that often interrogates notions of (in)visibility, displacement, and belonging for marginalized minorities with intersectional identities. His award-winning webcomic Project: Press Play promotes mental health awareness, has been translated into 6 languages including Chinese and Spanish, and is available as a chapbook published by Sweet-Lit.
Michelle Lin (she/they) is a poet, mixed media artist, and the author of A House Made of Water (2017). Her art explores themes of dissociation, estrangement, and her struggles with mental illness as a queer child/daughter of immigrants and a survivor of sexual and gender trauma. As the curator of Kearny Street Workshop’s reading series, she works to build loving, transformative spaces with APA writers. Michelle is also co-host of We Won’t Move: A Living Archive a podcast about APA arts activism in the Bay Area.
Esmé Weijun Wang is a novelist and essayist. She is the author of the New York Times-bestselling essay collection, The Collected Schizophrenias (2019), and a debut novel, The Border of Paradise, which was named a Best Book of 2016 by NPR. She was listed by Granta as one of the “Best of Young American Novelists” in 2017 and won the Whiting Award in 2018. Born in the Midwest to Taiwanese parents, she is the founder of The Unexpected Shape Community for ambitious writers living with illness and disability. She can be found at esmewang.com and @esmewang.
Dr. Jennifer Chen (she/her/hers) is a second-generation Taiwanese-American queer clinical psychologist and educator based in Oakland, California. She is a clinical supervisor at Asian Health Services in Oakland Chinatown and manages the Child & Youth program while supervising clinical trainees. She also provides individual therapy to adolescents and adults in a small private practice. In addition, Jennifer consults and facilitates workshops for organizations and institutions that want to initiate change conversations on race, privilege, and inclusion. She cares deeply about transformative justice, talking about and understanding intersectional identities, and working towards collective freedom. In her free time, she enjoys reading, gardening, surfing, and going on long hikes with her dog, Peanut Butter.
Shirley Chen is a Chinese American bilingual mental health counselor with a passion for serving children and youth. She has worked in schools and clinics providing mental health services for youth of all ages. As a clinician at Asian Health Services, she works with families to help them access their inherent strengths, build self-efficacy, and deepen their resilience. She also helps link new clients to services and resources and participates in community outreach events. Having grown up in the Bay Area, she loves to grab boba and hike in her free time.