Speaker: Aurora Sidney-Ando

Nurturing Art

Aurora received her BFA in painting and drawing from the University of Colorado and puts it to use by illustrating children’s books, designing murals, and painting large canvases. Her inspiration comes from the bold colors from her hometown in Mexico and the simple style of her Japanese heritage. Aurora recently completed her Ph. D. in Humanistic and Transpersonal Psychology with a certificate in Expressive Arts for Social Change from Saybrook University.

She is working with non-profit agencies to advocate for expanding the realm of visual arts within the Anchorage community in the spirit of peace, creativity, and wellness. Aurora taught psychology courses at Alaska Pacific University that emphasized self-discovery through the use of expressive arts. Further integrating her background in art and psychology, Aurora is also working as a clinical therapist using expressive arts with clients who have experienced complex trauma.

She has illustrated stories for Universal Health Services, Inc. and the Tapestry of Life Program, which were written to educate kids and adults on behavioral and mental disorders.

Aurora: "I've been a shy person for as long as I can remember. I can also remember dipping the ends of my braids in water and watching with pleasure as the water created swirls and interesting shapes over surfaces. I remember my parents smiling at the pictures I drew for them and my heart felt big with joy. I felt I grew taller with their love.

Looking back, these memories became lessons that shaped my future interests. I believe that art can be a powerful form of expression when words fall short. I believe that curiosity is a treasure that should be cultivated in everyone and when children are met with kindness and support, they become part of making this world a better place for everyone.

I work with children and their families who, often, have experienced generations of trauma. The agency I work with serves a multicultural population and though each individual has their unique story, common threads of poverty, violence, and neglect can be found through most of them. There are also stories of resilience, generosity, and hope. I am very interested in supporting this hope. This population tends to be marginalized, and I also believe it is important to look at ways of integrating all members of society.

This inspired a research project designed to empower young people who have undergone severe trauma to tell their stories through art forms. The goal was to sublimate their vision of the world and identities through painting, song, dance, and poetry in order to present it as an art show for the wider community."

Join us on this Awakin Call with Aurora Sidney-Ando on the theme of "Nurturing Art"


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