How We Met

May 17, 2009

I had originally planned to start my first blog entry to be about my thoughts and reactions to the book Mind Magic that Deborah and I are both reading as research for a book we are working on. Then after some reflection I changed my mind and decided to start my first blog entry to talk about the place where Deborah and I first met. The common thread about where we first met and our blog is creativity.

The name of the place was Creative Arts Rehabilitation Center and was a small, avant garde, utterly unique healing center that utilized the creative arts, music, dance, art and drama to help people suffering from chronic mental illness. It was a small cramped agency consisting of two floors located on West 51st Street (NYC) off of 8th Avenue and above a French restaurant. I was there as the Director of the Social Work Department and Deborah was actually someone I interviewed and hired to work as a grant writer to help Florence Tyson, a Music Therapist and the Founder and Director of the agency. Most of the staff were music, art, dance and drama therapists. For a long time I was the only social worker there until I was fortunate enough to have the pleasure of hiring LInda Plastrik, now Linda Israel, who, when I left, took over my position. The place was like a family. Hours were flexible. We celebrated the birthdays of the clients.

We all wore many hats in our roles. Thus taking out the garbage could be  done by anyone regardless of title. Every year we had our annual Musicale, which was a program to give the patients a chance to perform and feel proud of the creative work they had accomplished during the year. The goal was never to be perfect, but to just be doing something creative, something which each of them loved/enjoyed.

So that is where Deborah and I first met. And one of our goals in this blog is to inspire, encourage and hopefully, by offering tools and suggestions and comments about creativity, help anyone who reads this blog to begin to just explore and allow their own creativity to blossom, not to be perfect but to help people enjoy the ride/process and if interested take their creative work to another level.