Meet the Intern: Elli Smith

Posted Sunday October 08 2017 at 9:34 pm in News

Elli Smith

Hey there!  I'm Elli.  I spent my early years in the pink mountains of New Mexico, searching the sky for double rainbows and breaking open rocks in search of fossils.  Most of my childhood days were passed in Southern California, however, where I learned as much as I could in school, played soccer, and enjoyed time passed with friends and family.  I spent four years studying art history and integrative medicine at UC Berkeley, except my junior year where I lived and learned in Bologna, Italy.  I taught moviemaking in New Orleans schools for a few years, after which I relocated to the Pacific Northwest where I took up circus arts and mentoring Native American youth with equal zest.  My greatest artistic feat to date is a documentary film I made on the healing process of Native youth on a tribal canoe journey.  Now I'm grateful to be in the Arts in Education Master's program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where I’m learning things I never knew I never knew.

What are your favorite pastimes?
      "I love to laugh, which means I spend a great deal of time with my friends and family.  I love to wander in nature, hike, run, dance, do yoga, sing and play music."

If you could be a cartoon character, who would you be?
      "My old boss and kids I used to mentor saw Wreck it Ralph and told me 'the main character is you!'  I watched to movie and thought, 'yep, that's pretty much me.'"

You are trapped on an island.  What three items do you want to have with you?
      "A boat, a chart and a musical instrument.  I'm gettin' off this island!  (And gotta have some tunes, of course.)"

Do you have any uncommon talents or quirks?
      "I have a compulsion to combine words to make puns.  Say two words and my brain will find a way to smash them together.  I should probably work for an advertising agency."

What brings you to VSA?
      "My love of kids!  Making art with young ones is one of my favorite things.  I love their unbridled creativity, helping them through the process, and ultimately, seeing the end product.  I have a collection of kid art I've saved over the years; it is some of my favorite art to date!"

What are you doing during your internship?
      "I will be assisting Teaching Artists in the classroom, helping with teacher professional development and creating media content for the website."



ASL Night at Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Posted Saturday September 09 2017 at 10:49 am in Cultural Inclusion

ASL Interpreter at MFA

Photo courtesy Helene Norton Russell

The Museum of Fine Arts Boston is holding it's first ASL Night, a celebration of Deaf culture welcoming members of the Deaf community and friends!  The evening highlights and features the art, language, and culture of the community.  Coinciding with Deaf Awareness Month, the program includes American Sign Language tours and spotlight talks, performances, art-making activities, and more.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017
4:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Museum of Fine Arts Boston
Free admission begins at 4 pm
All ASL Night events are free
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Arts and the Brain: A Symposium on the Healing Power of the Arts

Posted Friday September 08 2017 at 10:36 pm in News

Arts and the Brain

Join us September 22, 2017 at the Worcester Art Museum for a day-long symposium exploring the role that the arts can play in helping people with acquired brain injury cope with trauma, regain mental function, and reorient their lives.

Presented by VSA Massachusetts an affiliate of Seven Hills Foundation in association with The Institute for Arts and Health, Lesley University, and Boston Arts Consortium for Health (BACH).

The backdrop for the symposium will be an exhibition of artwork by Jon Sarkin, an artist whose story of emerging from a brain injury with a new and remarkable capacity for visual art is chronicled in the book Shadows Bright as Glass: The Remarkable Story of One Man's Journey from Brain Trauma to Artistic Triumph.  Jon will share his experience in a multi-media performance.

Speakers will explore the contribution art making and art therapy can make to healing brain trauma.  Ronald E. Hirschberg, M.D. of Harvard Medical School will share his work on the music-brain interface and neurologic music therapy.

More information

Register now