MONROE, LA – Northeast Delta Human Services Authority announces the first-ever Art Is Therapy Festival, an event that further (promotes) the agency’s adoption of arts as one of its integrated health care, evidence-based prevention, communications, and treatment strategies to help serve and educate the community and persons with co-occurring disorders and developmental disabilities. The Art is Therapy Festival is free and open to the public on Saturday, April 22, at the Monroe Downtown River Market at 1 p.m.
NEDHSA Executive Director Dr. Monteic A Sizer said, “the agency wanted to create a signature event that could help the region heal mentally, physically, spiritually, and economically.”
“Art is therapeutic and can be a medicine to heal our people,” Dr. Sizer said. We know the arts can help people come alive in ways traditional treatment options can’t. That’s why we’re continuing this significant and first-of-its-kind work in our region.”
According to the Americans for the Arts, 69 percent of the United States population believe the arts “lift me beyond everyday experiences,” 73 percent feel the arts give them “pure pleasure to experience and participate in,” and 81 percent say the arts are a “positive experience in a troubled world.”
NEDHSA’s Director of Prevention & Wellness, Dr. Avius Carroll, said, “arts serve as a portal of expression and can be shared in many forms.”
“We want to showcase all facets of arts and use it to strengthen resiliency and build positive, protective factors for our youth and families to thrive,” Dr. Carroll said.
The event will feature two live bands, a DJ, art vendors, art activities, yoga, line dancing, herbal teas, a health fair, food trucks, karaoke, and more. The event is alcohol-free and family and pet friendly.
Dr. Sizer said the work NEDHSA has been doing for 10 years in the region has been intentional to help make “Northeast Louisiana a regional creative hub, a preferred destination that will generate much-needed regional economic development, diversity, job creation, and more.”
“We must do different things to educate, engage, and inspire the public,” Dr. Sizer said. “We’re helping people in our region to understand addiction and mental health issues with this innovative prevention approach. We intend to help create an environment where dreams are realized, families are strong, bodies are healthy, community institutions are thriving, and spirits are renewed.”