Community Projects: Pathways

Sponsored by Pathways Health Crisis Resource Center
Minneapolis, Minnesota
1992 - present

Project Summary

Since 1992, I have had an evolving partnership with Pathways, a health crisis resource center in South Minneapolis that provides programs designed to support a creative healing response to life-threatening illness.
The efforts I've undertaken with Pathways include:

Creating performance events that mark changes in the life of the organization. For example, the images on this site are from my first Pathways collaboration, Full House, a celebration designed to help the community make a conscious transition from the original facility into a brand new home.

Providing direct service to participants as a teacher of mindfulness and movement (Kinetic Awareness and Vipassana/insight meditation).

Coordinating teams of artists or acting as a liaison/collaborator with other professional artists who interface with Pathways. Examples include:

Collaborating with sculptor/installation artist Tom Rose (Minnesota) on "?A Good Thing", a performance inspired by stories from Pathways participants;

Creating an integrated artistic vision for Life/Death/Afterdeath, a national conference sponsored by Pathways for which significant interactive works of installation art and performance were commissioned from prominent artists, such as Lee Mingwei (Taiwan/New York), Stuart Pimsler (Ohio), and Sandra Menefee Taylor (Minnesota). In my role as Artist/Coordinator I collaborated with the individual artists to weave images of our works through the fabric of the conference as a whole. I also served as the liaison between the conference organizers and the artists.

These images from Full House at Pathways in 1992

In the kitchen, Elaine Wynne leads a healing story circle accompanied by the smells and sounds of boiling pots of soup.

A bodywork room becomes an alchemist’s laboratory, a place where the raw experience of life threatening illness is transmuted into the gold of insight. Kaia Svien, as The Alchemist, distills the essence of Pathways.

Hidden behind a curtain in the attic, the vocal ensemble, Awake!, improvises healing songs.

The bathroom is a lush, aquatic oasis. Participants receive a blessing with waters collected from North American lakes, rivers and oceans by ritualist Ellen Hufschmidt. A video monitor displays evocative images of underwater dancing from Bodies of Water, Re-Membered (a collaboration with videographer James Byrne).

In the basement, dancers from an authentic movement group shape their internal impulses into movement forms, while participants witness and mold their own internal impulses into clay forms.

In the living room, I dance answers to questions from participants about the event followed by a verbal translation of my body’s response. I frequently use this practice to access and demonstrate the body as a way of knowing.

Photos by Peter L. Johnson
Courtesy of Bush Foundation

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