Trauma + The Arts: Mobilizing Anchor Institutions
April 1-3, 2019
Proposal Submission Form: Workshops, Papers, Site Visits
Deadline: Friday, September 28, 2018
The Philadelphia Higher Education Network of Neighborhood Development (PHENND) is honoring its thirty year anniversary with a conference titled "Trauma and the Arts: Mobilizing Anchor Institutions" to be held April 1-3, 2019 at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. The purpose is to create a forum for faculty, artists, therapeutic practitioners, and a variety of institutional and non-profit partners involved in arts and community engagement work in the city of Philadelphia to discuss initiatives, ideas, and possible collaborations around arts and trauma at the local, regional, national, and possibly global levels. We are inviting groups and individuals to facilitate and lead paper/therapeutic arts presentations and workshops; and/or propose site visits for their organizations/programs one day prior to the conference (April 1). This gathering will be attended by a global audience of 150-200 students, campus staff, faculty, policy makers, mental health practitioners and others who are active in education, community development, community service, service-learning, and campus-community partnership work around the arts and trauma. Over the course of two days (April 2-3), a limited number of hands-on workshops and panels will be offered to participants to complement plenary sessions and panels. We plan a pre-conference daylong series of site visits within a ten mile radius of the city of Philadelphia that will bring greater exposure of the current therapeutic work, to host an ongoing blog about these initiatives, and to publish an edited volume coming out of the conference.

The issues pertaining to individual and collective trauma have become concerns for a wide cross-section of stakeholders in cities across the United States, as they impact urban residents from young children to aging adults. The School District of Philadelphia has a trauma informed educational initiative, there is a city wide trauma training conference now in its third year, academic institutions are examining trauma from a range of perspectives: the trauma of poverty, race, immigration and refugee status, intergenerational trauma, sexual violence, and the trauma of adoption and foster care. At this conference we are particularly interested in the ways in which anchor institutions (universities and medical centers), in partnership with community organizations, utilize the creative and expressive arts: music, dance, theater, film, visual arts, creative writing and poetry, to address traumatic experience alongside more traditional therapeutic interventions. Our purpose is to begin a city-wide, regional, and national dialog around contemporary forms of trauma and the use of the arts in articulating and healing traumatic experience at the individual and collective levels. While the conference is situated in the City of Philadelphia and its regional affiliations, participants will gain an international and comparative perspective from leaders in trauma studies who live or work on the African continent who have been invited to the event. Further, we hope to engage policy makers, institutional leaders, non-profits, philanthropic organizations, and others working in the field of trauma intervention to come together to discover what is happening across the city, region, and nation, and then to begin to strategize ways in which we might address the rampant presence of trauma in our communities using the power of the arts as one important vehicle of articulation and healing through innovative projects and conversations.

This is a conference about the intersection between theory and practice: as such we are seeking contributions from sites and practices that have practice-based evidence and/or culturally nuanced purposes and outcomes, the capacity for replication in some manner in other sites, and among a variety of practitioners and communities. We are particularly concerned about the voices and experiences of children and families as they seek out pathways to healing in the face of a wide range of traumatic experience. Workshops and proposals may cover one of more of the following themes in our broader exploration of Arts and Trauma: Mobilizing Anchor Institutions by posing the question how might the arts engage trauma-impacted individuals and communities.

- for healing/mending
- for story-telling and counter-narratives
- for prevention
- for understanding and education
- for social and political change
- for cultural and language diversity
- for faith-based communities
- for neighborhoods
- for children and families
- for social impact
- for mental health awareness
- for advocacy
- for new policies
- for new economic structures of support


Please also note that all participants attending the conference, even those presenting, will be expected to pay registration fees (estimated at $250 per person). All speakers and presenters will be expected to pay registration fees. Pre-registration is required. Note: there will be an early-bird registration available through December 31, 2018. Limited scholarships will also be available.

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