About the event
The events of the past couple of years have peeled back the layers of society and exposed an increasing need for mental health programs and services. In the instance of dance, Martha Graham laid the foundation for dance to have meaning beyond that of entertainment. She was one of the first modern dancers and choreographers to use dance as a means of expressing emotions, such as in her work Lamentation, and as a way to convey her experiences, such as in her piece, Frontier. To this day, when people experience trauma or feel as though they are in survival mode for the thousandth day, it becomes difficult to find words to express their emotions, to tell their story, and/or to ask for help. That is where dance lives. It is why Mental Health America of Augusta (MHA-A) and the National Dance Society (NDS) are partnering for a unique event, Dance Louder Than Words.
This project promotes the mission and the goals of both MHA-A and NDS. MHA-A, specifically, works to provide programs and services that focus on prevention. We believe in helping people before they, or someone they know, experience a mental health crisis. Our goal is to have Dance Louder Than Words be the first step in what we plan to expand into a larger campaign that will include awareness, resources and services as well as help to provide funding for other evidence-based prevention programs. One example of that is a goal we have for 2022. That is to implement a navigation-based service that connects those who are struggling emotionally (i.e. with mental health) to the services they need.
The event, Dance Louder Than Words, will feature Mental Health in Motion, a professional dance company from Roanoke, Virginia. Mental Health in Motion began in 2017 as a way to provide mental health education, advocacy, and awareness through creative means. They believe that the main influencers in a person’s life are the people they interact with regularly.
They desire to equip everyone to better understand mental health and care for one another and themselves more deeply.
“By engaging with these topics in creative ways by either observing a dance performance or completing a visual activity, one is able to understand the mental health topic on a deeper heart level. When our emotional perceptions shift, our actions tend to follow, and we begin to interact with the world in more informed and empathic ways.” - Lisa Linger, Mental Health in Motion
Included in this first-of-its-kind performance event will be personal stories about how dance has played an important role in the lives of those who use movement to work through various life experiences. Choreography by pre-professional dancers will also be showcased to demonstrate how dance is a lifeline to their mental well-being. Research has shown that dance influences a person’s mental health in positive ways.
The project vision is to reach beyond one locality. With an in-person attendance capacity of 1000 people and a national audience in live-streaming, we believe the impact of this project will be significant.
Why should you sponsor?
Our community is known for its history and arts, but we have often overlooked the impact of mental health in our community. As a small organization, we are searching for foundations that have the same passion, heart, and values that we exhibit. We long to bring to our community a partner that will support us with this meaningful dance and mental health project.
In our community, we have seen a 480% increase in the online mental health screenings we provide. Every day I have individuals, parents, students, and employers reach out to me seeking solutions to dealing with the mental health crisis we find ourselves in. We desire to build mentally healthier communities and a sponsorship will allow us to reach out to a more inclusive audience. Because we are a mostly non-professional artistic community, our artists, actors, dancers, musicians and audience members are students, doctors, educators, line workers, manufacturers and other service workers.
Bruce began his career in student development in higher education, before transitioning to the non-profit sector as a Senior Program Director with the YMCA. From 2011 to 2017, he took on the challenge of Executive Director of Leadership/General Manager with Chick-fil-A and successfully grew the organization by 2 million dollars. With a passion to get back into the non-profit industry, Bruce joined the First Tee and oversaw all aspects of programming and staff development.
As the Executive Director of Mental Health America of Augusta, I am combining my passion to serve people and strengthen his community. Mental Health America ofAugusta is needed now more than ever in our community. I hope that I can create rich and meaningful partnerships, resources, and programming for those in need in our community. Working for MHA-A allows me to blend my aspiration to lead an organization that impacts and influences our community.
This event will allow us to achieve more, reach higher, and dream bigger as we partner with our community to support the mental health crisis.
Contact the Organizer
Contact the Organizer