Arts Council offers ‘Bridging Wellness’ workshop series in honor of Mental Health month

May is Mental Health month and the Arts Council for Long Beach, in collaboration 12 regional organizations including Angels Gate Cultural Center, Compound LBC and We Rise LA, have banded together to host a series of free virtual and in-person pop-ups and workshops geared toward improving mental health and wellness through art and creative expression.

“We are grateful to receive support from county partners to help communities heal through the arts. It is more important than ever to create opportunities for artists to intersect with local nonprofits,” Griselda Suarez, executive director for Arts Council for Long Beach said in a press release.

The series, “Bridging Wellness” will run through the month and features educational events and activities such as painting, drawing and letter writing that encourage wellbeing and personal healing.

Local pop-ups and events are listed below. To register for the local events, click here. For Los Angeles County regional events, click here.

  • Healing Elements and Lifeways (HEAL) workshop series (May 4, 11, 18, 25) — This four-part series pulls from the Native American medicine wheel, a philosophy used by generations of Native Americans for health and healing. The philosophy is based on the elements (Fire, Water, Earth and Air) in relation to emotional aspects (Emotional, Mental, Physical and Spiritual). The workshops are designed to celebrate and honor the resilience of native/indigenous people and address the emotional trauma many may have experienced from the pandemic and social unrest of 2020. The workshops are from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at 350 Elm Ave. Seating is limited.
  • Wisdom of the Body: Drawing and Writing to find our Inner Truth (May 6) — Join best-selling author and art therapist Lucia Capacchione and ArtsLB teacher Betty Rosen in this virtual workshop where the pair will teach the methods of using drawing and writing to work through trauma and better connect with one’s emotions. RSVP online, here. Stream begins at 6 p.m.
  • Day of Healing: For Ahmuad & Mother’s Day (May 8) — A healing protest featuring yoga, group meditation, performances, speakers, and free wellness resources for community members. There will also be a march/run in honor of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man who was pursued and fatally shot while jogging in Glynn County, Georgia, in February 2020. The day will end with a traditional West African offering to the ocean. The event is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 350 Elm Ave.
  • Art For All Workshop with Rebekah Rose: The Queers Who Got Us Here (May 9) — In honor of Pride month, learn how to trace and transfer printed images of queer icons from Rebekah Rose, a queer, nonbinary illustrator and trauma-informed yoga teacher in Long Beach. Participants will also discuss queerness and the legacy of queer leadership. LGBTQ+ family and allies are encouraged to attend. The free, virtual event is from 2 to 3 p.m. For those who register by 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 8, complimentary activity kits will be provided. Register here.
  • Family Art Painting Workshop (May 13) — Learn how to make abstract water-color paintings while listening to music. The workshop will also discuss how art can help heal and connect communities. The free event is from 3 to 5 p.m. at 350 Elm Ave.
  • Healers in Residence: Oh Good Grief x Luis Zavala Tapia (May 14) — Artists Marianna Jamadi of Oh Good Grief, and artist Luis Zavala Tapia host this interactive art workshop where participants will create a self-portrait, using a silhouette, with the intention of transposing grief onto paper as a release. The free, virtual workshop is from 4 to 5 p.m. Register, here.
  • ECF Art Center San Pedro presents: We’re still here (May 14 – May 31) — View the works of artists hailing from the ECF Art Center San Pedro that were completed during the pandemic or in response to artists’ individual relationship with their mental health. Watch the virtual Instagram opening at 3 p.m. or visit the windows at 1125-1127 S. Gaffey St. in San Pedro.
  • Reconciliation Vessels, an Adaptation of the Apologetic Garden (May 15, 16, 22) — Write a “letter of apology” that will be placed in a biodegradable envelope and planted with seeds in handmade planters provided by Flux Artspace. The symbolic activity is designed to help people let go of their pent-up negative emotions, hopefully guiding them toward healing. The events on May 15 and 16 run from 12 to 5 p.m. While the event on May 22 is from 12 to 4 p.m. Click here for more info.
  • Art For All Workshop with Rebekah Rose: Queer Nesting Dolls (May 23) —  Rebekah Rose, a queer, nonbinary illustrator will give a little lesson on self-love and acceptance with queer identity as participants simultaneously learn how to paint their own wooden nesting dolls. Livestream begins at 2 p.m. For those who register by 10 a.m. Saturday May 22, complimentary activity kits will be provided. Register, here.
  • Healing Centered Art: Many Paths to Wellness (May 26) — A virtual panel comprised of local artists and Tiombe Wallace, a licensed marriage and family therapist with over 23 years of experience as a Black intersectional feminist therapist, educator, and activist discuss the overlapping health impacts of pandemic losses, racial trauma and other stresses from the last year. Click here for more info.
  • Bird UP! Art and Spiritual Healing in Cambodia Town (May 29) — The project will have participants meditate, then paint onto birdhouses using inspiration from memories, objects, or places of refuge as a means of healing. Participants will be able to take their birdhouses home. The workshop is from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 350 Elm Ave.

Support our journalism.

Hyperlocal news is an essential force in our democracy, but it costs money to keep an organization like this one alive, and we can’t rely on advertiser support alone. That’s why we’re asking readers like you to support our independent, fact-based journalism. We know you like it—that’s why you’re here. Help us keep hyperlocal news alive in Long Beach.

Cheantay Jensen is reporter and award-winning videographer who covers entertainment, art, food and culture for the Hi-lo section of the Long Beach Post. And sometimes breaking news, you know, just to keep things interesting.