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Aspen nonprofit partakes in global art initiative to prop community health via arts – Aspen Daily News

Posted: November 23, 2020 at 6:54 am


COVID-19 has revealed that a virus can affect not only our physical health but also our ability to cope with the psychological impact in its wake.

Loneliness is not the absence of people. Loneliness is the inability to express what matters to you most, and the arts in all of its forms was evolved to do exactly that, Christopher Bailey, World Health Organization Arts & Health Lead said in a press-release video.

The release explained its mission as a global one, pointing to an international collaboration.

The cultural community can be on the front lines of recovery efforts, creating solidarity and compassion, standing together against common existential threats, it reads.

Thats where Aspen-based Open Mind Project comes in, partnering as a presenter of The Future is Unwritten auction, which boasts the Healing Arts initiative as a cultural call-to-action to support the World Health Organization and a global COVID-19 response through the arts.

Open Mind Project founder and long-time Aspen valley resident Andrew Scott allowed, As an intercultural institution, the Open Mind Projects participation in this philanthropic effort aims to transform a moment of crisis into a paradigm shift for the health of humanity and the planet we depend on for life.

As part of The Future is Unwritten initiative, the local organization is engaging in the broader international art world that is the United Nations priority areas and WHOs auction house which aims to increase awareness around a global path to recovery and raise critical funds to mobilize artists and health professionals in support of communities most vulnerable, at-risk and with the weakest-health systems to act effectively in response to the pandemic.

But the international organizers are not naive to the potential undercurrents of local good intentions.

When speaking of at-risk populations, Bailey stated, If I am this person in a village in North Kivu and suddenly this person from an international organization in a coat and tie comes down who hasnt been around at all Im going to think you're crazy.

All proceeds from this initiative will benefit the WHO Foundation, which supports the urgently needed mental health response to the pandemic through the applied use of arts in health-giving and recovery, the press release continues. The Future is Unwritten sponsors its Artist Response Fund, supporting artist-led projects that directly facilitate community healing and health care messaging in the aftermath of the pandemic.

In addition to the auction series, there is a program of educational events covering urgent thematic areas from emergency response, to mental health, to the health effects of the environmental crisis, to the achievement of Universal Health Coverage, each through the lens of the supportive power of the arts.

The virtual world that has emerged at least more poignantly since the pandemic has impacted fundraising models, as well. That is evident in this endeavor, as audiences from all over the world can participate in auctions and causes also anywhere in the world.

The Healing Arts Auction is in collaboration with Christies and will run over the course of a year, with works to be offered in a number of sales across a wide range of genres. The first work to come under the hammer will be Magnetism, by Ahmed Mater, appearing in the November Middle East Contemporary Art Sale in London. The central focus of the piece is a cuboid magnet that resembles the black-draped Kabah, the central element of the Meccan rites, considered by Muslims everywhere to be the most sacred place on earth. Around the cube are spiral patterns made of tens of thousands of particles of iron evoking the Hajj, an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca that includes a series of rituals like walking counter-clockwise seven times around what is perceived as the House of God.

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Aspen nonprofit partakes in global art initiative to prop community health via arts - Aspen Daily News

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