Meeting ART: 15 Years of Expressive Arts Intro Courses Build a Continuing Legacy of Helping

For 15 years, the intro course has been a doorway to a new world of discovery at the Expressive Arts Institute: A world of creativity and beauty, and imagination, a place where art ceases to be a commodity for the few and becomes the helper of the many, and the birthright of all humans. Those men and women in turn have gone into our San Diego community, where they serve as helpers, bringing change, growth, learning and healing through the aesthetics and art to countless people from every walk of life. And on top of that , the Intro leaves its own indelible mark upon lives.

Talia Intro 09

For some, the intro is a once in a lifetime experience, a fun and moving experience of connection, a shift or change their creative life. For others it is a true beginning of the path they will follow. Every student of the Expressive Arts Institute, begins their studies with the Introduction to Expressive Arts course. Despite the huge diversity in background, culture, and experience our applicants possess, the one course serves as a kind of gateway into the work. Artists and interested helpers often find their way to our door before they have more than a vague idea what working in the field entails. In the intro, they encounter some basic philosophies of our work, they experience community learning through the arts, and most importantly, have real, personally helpful experiences in the Arts.


What Will Intro do for You? The intro course is two days of fun, energetic, active play through the arts, and you complete the program with original paintings, movement, writing, music and drama experiences that shape your creative life for the better: help address self-criticism and creation-angst, judgement and fear of being seen. It will introduce the idea of art as cooperative, rather than a competitive venture. What you do with that is up to you, but as students warn, positive change is addictive.

Feedback from Current Students:
I’d say the introductory course was an introduction to the rest of my life. I was profoundly moved and held by the dynamic interplay of going from the “me” to the “we” and back into the world as if for the first time, with greater velocity to make positive social change.
Michelle J. currently studies in the Peace Building Program

… the introduction class nourished parts of my being that had gone untouched for far too long. I can remember feeling a wave of “Ah, finally, I get to experience the type of learning I have always wished to experience”. It was the beginning of my unfolding and unraveling, my unlearning and relearning.  It opened my eyes to the new way of living …A life full of acceptance, self-care, art-making, community, love… 
I am more than grateful for my experience with Expressive Arts, and for the amazingly gifted teachers that have designed the program…EXA feels like experiencing the best dream you’ve ever had
– Marissa M. will graduate with a Masters in Coaching and Education in Summer 2014.