Arts festival advocates mental health awareness

posted September 10, 2018 at 06:35 pm
by  Manila Standard Lifestyle
An interactive arts festival that aims to raise awareness of mental health is slated on Sept. 14-16 at various Cultural Center of the Philippines venues.

Arts festival advocates mental health awareness
Festival director and curator Shamaine Buencamino with daughters Julia and Delphine
The CCP, in cooperation with the Julia Buencamino Project, presents Will You Still Love Me? for its second edition of the Festival of Arts & Ideas.

The festival will feature performances, workshops, and film screenings that will shed light on struggles with mental health as well as motivate participants toward artistic self-expression and hopefully, healing.

It encourages self-expression among participants by providing them with a variety of workshops to choose from—prose or poetry writing, creative movement, painting, print-making, and playing music through the ukulele. 

During the festival, a paper crane tree will be installed at the CCP Little Theater Lobby. The paper crane tree serves as the unifying symbol of the festival as it carries messages of hope and self-affirmation of participants in the festival.

Also in the same venue, an exhibit/installation inspired by the Julia Buencamino Bench Project will be mounted by artist Alwin Reamillo, with contributions from visual artists from the Philippine High School for the Arts Amorsolo-Abelardo Batch.

Each day of the festival will begin with a mindfulness exercise using breath, visual imagery, and body awareness.

The checking in an activity will be followed by workshops and film screenings in the afternoons and performances in the evenings.

According to Shamaine Buencamino, the workshops are designed to teach participants skills to practice the arts as a way to improve the mind and manage stress. Film screenings will give viewers more information on different mental conditions as well as an opportunity to ask psychologists questions to understand mental illness more. Performances will allow audiences to empathize with those who suffer and to continue fighting mental illness by living inspired lives.

“Will You Still Love Me?” is a line taken from the poem penned by the late Julia Buencamino, daughter of actors Shamaine Centenera Buencamino and Nonie Buencamino. Julia died from suicide on July 7, 2015.

Julia’s poem said Shamaine, who is the festival director and curator, “speaks of the fear that most people struggling with mental health suffer—the fear that they won’t be accepted and loved.”

The Julia Buencamino Project is a mental health advocacy founded by Shamaine and Nonie to honor their daughter’s memory, to help children suffering from mental illness, and to educate people about mental health.

The festival at the CCP, Shamaine said, will continue the dialogue started by the Julia Buencamino Project “in exploring tools for carers of people with mental health conditions as well as harness the arts for mental health through performances and workshops.”

“We hope to create a community that helps build mental resilience through the arts,” she said. “Art heals. Art helps focus the mind. Art even changes the way the brain functions.”

Call (02) 832-1125 local 1606 or visit www.culturalcenter.gov.ph for more information on the festival.

Topics: arts festival , mental health , Julia Buencamino Project , Will You Still Love Me? , Festival of Arts & Ideas
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