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Phoenix Rising

This series explores opportunities to emerge from the ashes and transform from the source of our loss.

In conjunction with Reimagine’s Fall 2021 season “Grief, Growth, and Action”, Phoenix Rising explores opportunities to emerge from the ashes and transform adversity, loss, and mortality into meaningful growth and action.

Guest speakers from diverse fields such as psychology, art, and activism will help us dig into the scientific phenomenon of trauma-related growth through inspiring conversations and workshops.

“The Egyptian phoenix was said to be as large as an eagle, with brilliant scarlet and gold plumage and a melodious cry… As its end approached, the phoenix fashioned a nest of aromatic boughs and spices, set it on fire, and was consumed in the flames. From the pyre miraculously sprang a new phoenix."

Part 1a: Talk by Dr. Arielle Schwartz

November 10, 2021

Dr. Arielle Schwartz provides foundational principles of post-traumatic growth.

Part 1b: Workshop by Dr. Arielle Schwartz

This workshop leads participants in a workshop intended to heal trauma, foster resilience, and awaken potential.

Part 2: Kondwani Fidel, Ashley Minner, & Peter Bruun

November 15, 2021

This session features Kondwani Fidel, Ashley Minner, and Peter Bruun: three writers and artists who shape stories from their own hardships, and in doing so find healing and growth. Whether made as a creative person or experienced as an audience member, art has the power to name our gloom, express our suffering, and excavate our anguish.

Part 3: Dr. Richard Tedeschi and Natasha T Miller

November 17, 2021

In this session, we learn from two experts about growing and transforming from trauma and loss: one whose practice is rooted in the arts; the other in scientific research. Author and performance poet Natasha T Miller will perform her poetry and share how sometimes a story of loss might actually save a life. Psychologist Dr. Richard Tedeschi will explain five areas of post-traumatic growth theory that he developed and offer insights on his current work with veterans.

Part 4: Dr. Amy Robbins, Ivan Maisel, Ricardo Negron-Almodovar, & Maria Nhambu

November 29, 2021

This session features writer Ivan Maisel, advocate/activist Ricardo Negron-Almodovar, and author/movement artist Maria Nhambu in discussion with clinical psychologist Dr. Amy Robbins and Reimagine’s Executive Director Brad Wolfe. Each speaker will share personal experiences of loss--grieving a son’s suicide, surviving the Pulse nightclub massacre of 2016, and overcoming a harrowing childhood in a racist orphanage--and the ways in which they transformed from trauma.

Part 5: Mai Khoi, Kelsey Brentley, & Rev. Richard L. Freeman, Sr.

December 2, 2021

Three guests--all living and working in Western Pennsylvania--share their insights into the possibility of living fully in the face of grief and trauma. From both personal and professional perspectives, each one has a unique experience of loss and growth.