Healing Arts Panel

In recognition of National Arts Month, our panel will explore how the arts help influence our therapeutic approach to people who are grieving. Art and music encourages movement of the imagination that people often struggle with during the grieving process. Creative expression influences how people look at, unblock, wrestle with, and shed light on their deepest feelings and offers them an avenue to process their pain. This workshop, lead by Melanie DeMore and featuring a renowned panel of local experts, is a fascinating journey into understanding and translating the power of the arts. 

Judith Piazza

Judith has been recognized nationally/internationally in the field of music therapy and education for over 40 years, and has worked to nurture harmony, health, joy, and vitality in many settings. With a BA in music therapy, and a love for nature, harmony, and indigenous wisdom, her journey into the healing arts deepened as she explored and experienced wisdom traditions through pilgrimage, travel, ceremony, and study. Her passion finds expression in her work with people of all ages as performer, workshop presenter, and sound healer.  www.resonanceandrhythms.com

Kat Tudor

Kat Tudor is the visionary behind SunWater Spa, SunMountain Center, and the Smokebush Foundation for the Arts in Manitou Springs. Her gift is bringing the arts and the healing arts together in inspiring classes & unexpected collaborations.

For more info: www.sunwaterspa.com, www.smokebrush.org

Jane Rigler

Jane Rigler creates music influenced by nature, movement, languages, and dreaming. She is an Associate Professor (Music) at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, a certified Deep Listening© facilitator, and an Affiliate Faculty at the Lyda Hill Institute for Human Resilience.

Jane will discuss how Deep Listening© fosters collaborative, creative practices that engage people of any ability to play with multi-sensorial experiences. Through her study of trauma and positive reinforcement models of intervention, Jane brings communities together through open, playful, and contemplative listening methods.

vapa.uccs.edu/index/music/faculty/rigler 

Photo by Sofia Drobinskaya ©2023

Rachel Weiskittle

Dr. Weiskittle joined the UCCS Psychology Department in Fall 2021. She earned her PhD in clinical psychology with specialization in behavioral medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University and completed her predoctoral clinical internship in behavioral medicine at the Charleston Consortium Internship Program. Following her postdoctoral clinical fellowship in Geropsychology at the VA Boston Healthcare System, Dr. Weiskittle was an Advanced Research Fellow at the New England Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (NE GRECC).

Dr. Weiskittle researches psychosocial factors influencing end-of-life experiences and adjustment to loss, with emphasis in developing translational clinical innovations for older adult, underserved and minoritized communities. 

Her recent work has focused on marginalized groups at the end-of-life, such as those under legal guardianship, and on individuals recently bereaved or socially isolated due to the effects of COVID-19. 

psychology.uccs.edu/rachel-weiskittle 

Natalie Johnson

Passionate about art and community, Natalie Johnson has been the executive director of the Manitou Art Center for over a decade. On the Manitou Springs City Council and the President of MSSD14's Board of Education, she is committed to the city where she proudly lives, works, and plays.  

Suzanne Costello

Suzanne Costello has toured throughout the U.S. and abroad as a dance/theater director, choreographer, performer, and teacher for four decades. She has been at the forefront of the Arts & Health field since introducing the Caring for the Caregiver program in 1991. Her focus on community-inclusive initiatives has engaged the often unseen in performance work including incarcerated populations, groups impacted by cancer, military and veterans, and caregivers. Costello has presented at conferences and universities globally and has been honored with multiple awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Minnesota State Arts Board, Ohio Arts Council, Salt Lake City Arts Council and others. She is based in Minneapolis, MN. 

In Fall, 2023 she will be a Guest Artist at Colorado College teaching a new course, Moving Together / The Power of Art, Health & Wellbeing. She also has been commissioned to create a new work for the Colorado Springs based Ormao Dance Company. For this she will bring together company performers with elders from the Hillside community in an intergenerational look at life chapters. The new work will be premiered in Spring, 2024.

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