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Art Heals All Wounds

Art Heals All Wounds

Author: Pam Uzzell

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Do you think art can change the world? So do I! In each episode I engage in a healing conversation with an artist and talk about the ways that they’ve healed through creativity--art for social change, stories about climate change, creative responses to grief, work that address gender and racially based violence, and creative responses to social issues. We’re at a pivotal moment when scientists, medical practitioners, and creatives are coming together in recognition of the ways that art plays an indispensable role in our well-being, as individuals, communities, and societies. These conversations about transformative artistic practices show the ways that art can be a catalyst for change. 

How do we change the world? One artist at a time.

104 Episodes
The infectiously optimistic music from Quincy Griffith and Luqman Frank from Episode 11 of Season 1 is helping me to get through this long January at the beginning of year 3 of the pandemic. If you need some cheer in your life and you like soul music this may be what you need to hear right now. As an added bonus, videos for some of the songs from the album are starting to be released. You can find the video for Gonna Be Alright here and a teaser video for Never here. Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit for more information.
In this episode of Art Heals All Wounds, we meet Deb Gottesman and Buzz Mauro, co-directors of The Theatre Lab in Washington, DC. We'll hear about their Life Stories Institute in which non-actors write and act in plays about their lives. Everyone from senior citizens, people in recovery, and veterans have been able to take control of their own narratives in this innovative and healing program.Follow The Theatre LabTheatre Lab WebsiteTheatre Lab TwitterTheatre Lab FacebookTheatre Lab InstagramFollow Me●     My Instagram ●     My LinkedIn●     My Twitter●     Art Heals All Wounds Website●     Art Heals All Wounds Instagram●     Art Heals All Wounds Twitter●     Art Heals All Wounds Facebook●     Art Heals All Wounds Newsletter 
Ajuan Mance, visual artist and illustrator, uses her art as a lens through which to understand both the world and herself, with work that represents too-often overlooked subjects. Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit for more information.
When my cousin, Tiffany Braden, a.k.a. Halloween the Dancer, first started pole dancing twelve years ago, my first response was “Oh my!” Considering that my cousin is one of the smartest people I know, I knew that I had to learn more about it. I've watched her grow to be an incredible artist, with choreography that is moving and expressive and makes my heart ache. I finally got to hear her story in-depth when she joined me on the show as my guest.If you already know and love the art of pole dancing, I hope you’ll listen. If you don’t know anything about pole dancing or have a negative impression of it, I hope you’ll listen and become a believer. 
Tiffany Golden, author of the Midnight Story Series, describes her pivot from filmmaking to writing when lupus and rheumatoid arthritis forced her to find a creative outlet that was kinder to her body. As part of her journey to self-kindness, she also wrote Loving Myself with Lupus. Her children's books, geared towards children and families of African descent, offer stories of healing for readers of all ages. 
In this episode, documentary filmmaker and cinematographer Morgan Schmidt-Feng and I talk about his new film Anton:Circling Home about the New York-based artist Anton van Dalen. We explore the theme of home in Schmidt-Feng's other works and what effect the San Francisco Bay Area housing crisis has had on his life, as well as how it has drained the Bay Area of artistic talent over the past few decades. And we talk a lot about pigeons--because they are really good at finding their way home! Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit for more information.
Do you like drag kings? Of course you do! In this episode, we meet psychotherapist Cassandra Falby and learn about her performance as drag king Brock Cocker. What made her decide to begin performing as a drag king and what are some of the benefits of creating an alter-ego like this? We talk about what it means to perform masculinity and femininity as a drag performer. Why are drag queens better known in our culture than drag kings? Cassandra shares how creating the character of fun-loving Brock Cocker has increased her joy and helped her find flexibility in her own expression of gender.  Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit for more information.
Orlando Williams, aka DJOACES, helped form a budding core group of DJ's in 1980's Berkeley, California. Known as the Mixologist DJ's, this group would help build the tradition of house parties in the city, as well as influence other DJ's in the wider world of Hip Hop. After the death of his mother, Orlando turned to his life-long passion of spinning music as a way to travel beyond his grief. In the process, he discovered that his gift of music and dance was also the key to building community in his hometown.  Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit for more information.
How can the power of storytelling help us make sense of things as seemingly disparate as the Covid-19 pandemic, the healing potential of psychedelic drugs, and the navigation of life's largest crises? In this episode, documentary filmmaker Marjorie Sturm shares her work on PSAs for Decriminalize Nature San Francisco, an organization which advocates for the decriminalization of the cultivation, possession, and sharing of many plants, including some with psychedelic properties, such as psilocybin mushrooms. Her background as a social worker in mental health and drug addiction, combined with her storytelling skills have resulted in several short 2-4 minute films. These short films feature local practitioners and mental health workers who work with some of these healing plants. The use of psychedelic drugs for their healing properties overlaps with her latest film, a personal documentary that explores finding clarity in some of life's most challenging experiences, those events with the power to wake us up and propel us in new directions. 
Printmaker and sculptor Angelica Trimble Yanu talks about how her work brought her from existing “in-between” to grounding her in her Oglála Lakȟóta heritage. At the same time, it connects her to a larger community of Indigenous artists. Her bold prints of landscape and short films join the growing chorus of Indigenous voices in saying, “We are here. We are real. And we are resilient.” (Angelica Trimble Yanu, episode 9 of Art Heals All Wounds) 
When the poet Maw Shein Win was faced with the wearisome task of moving, it got her thinking about her relationship with her things. She found a storage unit for the objects she didn't part with and she realized that, while the storage unit contained her things, her things, in turn, were containers as well--of memory, emotions, and attachments. At the same time, she had been researching nat spirits, something she was familiar with from her upbringing as a Buddhist. Her parents, Burmese immigrants, didn't worship nats, but she knew it was a common practice among many Buddhists in Myanmar. These preoccupations led to her latest volume of poetry, Storage Unit for the Spirit House. Her work in this book has been called "marvelous, timely, and resilient," (D.A. Powell). Maw Shein Win is described as a "mistress of the acute, quietly searing detail..." (Amy Gerstler). The poems, written in 2019, were prescient of a year in which everyone would find themselves contained at home, perhaps with nats of their own making mischief? 
Do you need a positive mantra to get you through the ups and downs that these times keep throwing our way? How about a mantra set to amazing music? I know the perfect thing for you, a new single, Gonna Be Alright, from Luqman Frank and Quincy Griffin. It's from their upcoming album, composed and recorded during the pandemic, with messages of positivity, unity, and love as a response to the cultural and political division that have marked the last few years. All set to the sounds of classic soul! Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit for more information.
They say you can never go home again. When Denise Zmekhol, daughter of the late Roger Zmekhol, a prolific and masterful architect in Brazil, decides to make a documentary film about his most famous building in Sao Paulo, she hopes that by telling the story of the building she will also be able to deepen her connection with her father. Known as the Skin of Glass (Pele de Vidro), this building symbolized the emergence of Brazil on the world stage when it was designed in 1961. After surviving a military coup and dictatorship, the building is unable to survive the decades of neglect and the occupancy of the houseless people who rely on it for shelter. As Denise comes to terms with the loss of this tangible reminder of her father, she shares the story of a housing movement whose members long for a place to call home.
Filmmaker Ken Paul Rosenthal first met Berkeley street poet Julia Vinograd thirty years ago. Struck by her work and her presence, he asked if he could make a film about her poems. Although she agreed, Rosenthal felt that he didn’t yet have the experience as an artist to do her work justice. In 2018, Julia Vinograd passed away. Now Rosenthal has taken on the mission of bringing this iconic poet to life on screen by conveying the power of her work that both observed and shaped the politics and culture of the sometimes volatile, never dull, Telegraph Ave. Rosenthal creates images of poetic beauty that show the transcendent spirit of Vinograd’s life and work, while grounding it in the gritty stones of the neighborhood that Vinograd loved and championed.   Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit for more information.
Have you ever had a difficult relationship with someone that you absolutely adore? How would you handle your grief if that person unexpectedly dies before you've worked through your issues together? This was exactly the dilemma faced by Michelle Kennedy when her father was tragically killed in a car accident. As a writer, on-camera reporter, and news anchor, Michelle was at the top of her field. She left her career in TV news to travel around the world, having an amazing time with her best friend. However, she soon found that wherever she went, the ghosts of her unresolved issues with her father followed her. The result was her book Don't Pee in the Wetsuit-- part travelogue and part a navigation through grief--and always full of humor and love; both for her father, who she knows did his best, and for herself as she tackles the doubts and insecurities their relationship left behind. Now, with her knowledge and know-how, she's coaching others who need to be their best on camera. And she has the empathy to help anyone work through their own doubts and fears so that they can share their gifts with the world.
April Harris performs to heal. Her journey as a performer began when she was still serving as Captain in the United States Army. She had survived several sexual assaults during her service, but she realized that surviving wasn’t enough. For herself and for her two sons, she needed to thrive. To do that, she first needed to heal. Finding her way to a personal storytelling workshop was the beginning of April’s healing journey. Every time she took to the stage, she dropped more and more of her shame--as a victim of sexual assault, as a parent, and the shame she felt for neglecting herself for so long. Now she leads classes and workshops at The Theatre Lab in Washington, DC. She completed their Life Stories Institute, then began teaching her class Finding Your Voice. People from all walks of life attend this class—some who need to heal, some who are in transition, all of them seeking to connect deeply with their own stories. As the teacher and facilitator of the class, April doesn’t project what she thinks the participants need. Her role is to hold the space with love and respect so that each person can dig deeply to find their own voice. Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit for more information.
The very special guest on the Season 1 finale of Art Heals All Wounds is opera composer Hector Armienta. Hector is also the Art Director of Opera Cultura, a Latinx Hispanic opera company in San Jose, California. As a Mexican American composer, Armienta composes operas that explore what it means to be between two cultural worlds. His musical inspirations include the works of Puccini, Mexican corridos, and mariachi, to name a few. What is it like to brave crossing the border in the hopes of finding a better life in America? What about farm workers, people who work in homes, cleaning and caring for children, young people who thought they were finally fulfilling their dream to attend college? What happened when March 2020 brought a pandemic that turned these dreams upside down? Hector Armienta interviewed Latinx immigrants in San Jose and Santa Clara Valley and gave their stories voice, a beautiful, operatic voice, in his operas Cuentos and Mi Camino. Hector’s compositions are beautiful. But it’s his vision that is really exciting. He pushes the preconceived boundaries of opera and theatrical performance with his work. During the pandemic, when live performances weren’t possible, he created an animation for the opera Mi Camino. His plans are to take opera beyond the restrictions of borders, pandemics, and cultural and political boundaries, into virtual reality, augmented reality and extended reality. If the metaverse is coming, having Hector’s music there will make it a much more human space.  
Some new directions for Season 2 of Art Heals All Wounds. Sign up for the Art Heals All Wounds newsletter to learn more about upcoming guests as well as insight to art and healing from guest contributors. Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit for more information.
Sit back and relax while you listen to episode 1 of The Re(a)d Lounge from Shantre Pinkney. You'll get a chance to hear excerpts from her upcoming book Raw, Black, & Blue in her podcast. You can find The Re(a)d Lounge wherever you listen to podcasts and you can hear more about her story as a writer, filmmaker, and photojournalist on Season 2 of Art Heals All Wounds. Be sure to sign up for the Art Heals All Wounds newsletter at to hear more about the guests on the podcast! Please reach out to Let us know how you're enjoying the show and give your suggestions for artists you'd like to hear interviewed on the podcast. Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit for more information.
Season 2 Trailer

Season 2 Trailer


Welcome to Season 2 of Art Heals All Wounds, the podcast where we meet artists transforming lives with their work. In this season, we'll explore some of the themes that came up in Season 1--the body, family, home, community, and self. We’ll be releasing episodes every week. We’ll hear the stories of artists whose work presents a creative approach to these five themes. of body. Through stories we gain empathy for others and we find compassion for ourselves. This podcast is an invitation to find inspiration together.Featuring audio from Seeason 2 guests Shantre Pinkney, Mildred Howard, Preeti Vangani, Tahmina Watson, Chris Watts, Candace Roberts, Allegra Thelemaque, Ceci Najar, Catherine Monahon, Julie Wyman, and James LeBrecht. Other Season 2 guests are Vanessa Willow, Spencer Wilkinson, Rachel Dusa, Sarah Davis, Laura Joyce Davis, Alexi Lacey, Sara Bolder, Victor Mavedzenge, Jenee Darden, Barbara Higbie, Vicki Randle, Ernesto Diaz Infante, Michael Snyder, and Fay Darmawi. Our GDPR privacy policy was updated on August 8, 2022. Visit for more information.
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