Everyone reading this page knows that life is inherently difficult. Everyone reading this page knows that everyone needs inspiration from time-to-time to find the strength, courage and hope to keep going – especially when they’d rather not.

Such is the aim of the Twin Rivers Movers + Shakers, a group of creatives formed to promote the arts in the Greater Mankato Area as they planned their gathering for Monday, November 12th.

Twin Rivers Movers + Shakers - Stories of Healing Through the Arts
Twin Rivers Movers + Shakers – Stories of Healing Through the Arts

Stories of Healing Through the Arts is a panel discussion by the Twin Rivers Movers + Shakers featuring three professional and thriving artists,” according to event organizer and Movers + Shakers founder, Melissa Ketchum. “It’s one of three events in the Fall 2018 Wellness Series for Creatives & Artists. The topics that will be discussed at this event are at times stigmatized and not often discussed in a public setting. We plan to normalize these very important and very human discussions by demonstrating the connection between healing and the arts.”

The three artists sharing their hearts on the panel are Ketchum herself, a fashion designer, make-up artist, and blogger; Stacy K, recording artist, business owner, musician and mom; Jill Niebuhr, aka Jammin, the Warrior, an alternative music artist and author.

We plan to normalize these very important and very human discussions by demonstrating the connection between healing and the arts.

Each of the panelists has offered their hopes for what the event can accomplish.

Melissa Ketchum

“I’ve realized that sharing my story through an artistic outlet, such as writing, has become a very powerful part of my healing process.”

“On June 14th, 2018 almost 3 years after I was hospitalized during a manic episode, I shared my ‘Coming Out Bipolar’ story with my friends, family, and social network of 2,000+ people. I did this because I had always known that I was going to share my story and I was in a healthy place to do so.”

“About a week prior, fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead due to an apparent suicide. She was someone I looked up to professionally, and after hearing the news, I knew that I couldn’t stay silent any longer. I felt like it was important to provide a voice for those who were voiceless and I wanted to let people know that they aren’t alone in their struggles.”

“Little did I know that I would be the one gaining the most from sharing my experience.”

In the end, our commonality is that we’re all humans and these topics are very human experiences. When discussed with an open mind, I believe we then begin to heal.

“In regards to our event on the 12th, my main priority is to reach the people who needed to hear what I have to say. I want them to know that even though their circumstances may not be ideal, they still can overcome them. I also hope to educate the attendees as a means of advocating for mental illness and addiction while eradicating the stigma that surrounds it.”

“In the end, our commonality is that we’re all humans and these topics are very human experiences. When discussed with an open mind, I believe we then begin to heal.”

~~~

Stacy K

“As the musical artist Atmosphere wrote, ‘When life hands you lemons you paint that [stuff] gold.’”

“Four years ago, I made my best decision for huge life change by admitting myself into rehab.”

“I had been struggling for years with personal demons and masking them with alcohol. After years of stuffing my challenges, I built an alcohol tolerance that left life unmanageable. I was very sick physically and beaten down spiritually.”

I will share because there is hope and strength in the core of self for a change. I have lived it.

“I was terrified to walk through the doors of rehab, to say goodbye to this version of myself that had become my existence, and to delve into my inner world to make a serious change. I was afraid of the surrender required to admit I was indeed an addict and alcoholic. I wanted it to remain a secret because I felt like I failed myself and didn’t want anyone to know my truth.”

“My healing was navigated with the help of music. Music has been an invisible force that kept me moving forward when I wasn’t sure what was around the corner. Music has been my friend, my outlet, my pain, my happiness, and a form of my saving grace.”

“On Monday, November 12th I will share my truth. I will share in hope that others struggling or who know of someone struggling, will gain some insight. I will share in hope that someone might learn that being an addict or alcoholic is a disease, not a choice, nor a flaw of character.”

“I will share all of this because I am proud of myself. I will share because living in the depths of this disease is no place to dwell. I will share because there is hope and strength in the core of self for a change. I have lived it.”

~~~

Jill Niebuhr – Jammin the Warrior

“Writing has allowed me to keep fresh my perspective on my life. It has not always been easy to know I was at such odds in the world but the paper did not care and when I publish these things — only then — do I find others who can relate.”

Writing has allowed me to keep fresh my perspective on my life.

“Here is a poem from my book Crush to explain it.”

My Pen

My Pen is My Sword.
The fighting battalion.
Feel my hardship.
Sharp around the edges.

~~~

The event will be held at Twin Rivers Council for the Arts, Emy Frentz Art Guild on Monday, November 12th from 6-7:30 pm. The event is free and open to the public.