Connecting with CommUNITY on First Friday

UNITY

About a year ago we stumbled across information about the UNITY project, a stunning and powerful interactive project.

What is the UNITY project?

Designed by artist Nancy Belmont ,UNITY is circular arrangement of  poles in a large space. Each pole is labeled with an identifier, such as “I have experienced loss,” we have tailored it to be directly relevant to mental health awareness. With yarn, participants tie to each pole with which they identify. A canopy of interconnectedness forms as more people participate. In the end, we see that we are all connected by something. This project celebrates the uniqueness of individuals and raises awareness of how labels impact our perception of and interactions with the world.

Why UNITY?

We knew we wanted to bring this project to our community. Over the past year, the divisiveness that has emerged within our global, national and local communities has underscored the need to focus on what connects us. Our perspectives about the world are shaped by our individual experiences and while our experiences are each unique, we often forget how much we have in common with our friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, etc. When we lose sight of the common threads that connect us to others we may experience loneliness or a sense of isolation.

Mental Health Awareness Month takes place during May and will be celebrated during Downtown State College’s “First Friday” activities on Friday May 5th. UNITY is a powerful vehicle for raising awareness of mental health and allowing us to address the stigma that still surrounds the topic. Many individuals in our communities, neighborhoods and workplaces have personal experiences with mental health struggles. Mental health struggles are often not spoken about openly and freely within our society, which only serves to reinforce unnecessary shame. This only increases the sense of disconnection, loneliness and isolation that often accompanies challenging times in our lives.

What remains silent and unspoken can lead to more suffering.

We hope that UNITY will provide a space for awareness, healing and connection for our community. By using a piece of yarn to tie around poles labelled with specific “identifiers” within our structure, each artist participant will be able to speak their truths and share their stories while remaining anonymous. As more artist participants create their own webs, the overall project will grow and change.

We hope that you will stop by and visit us in front of the Schlow Library and add your story to the UNITY project on Friday May 5th from 5:00-9:00pm!

 

To learn more about the UNITY project, visit http://www.unityproject.net/

About Christy

Christy Sharer is an individual and family therapist at Taking Flight Developmental Center. She enjoys helping children, adults and families learn how to harness the powerful connections between their brains, bodies and emotions in order to increase self acceptance, peace and happiness.

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