(This blog is written by Regina Ress, board member of Healing Voices-Personal Stories.)
Healing Voices-Personal Stories’ film Cheyanne’s Story has been selected for the Bolder Life Festival this October! The story of a courageous high school girl who found herself in an abusive relationship and who not only managed to get help and extricate herself from it, but who, while still in school, became an advocate for domestic & teen violence awareness is a perfect fit for BolderLife.
“To live in Courage” What jumped out to me from BolderLife’s statements about its mission on its website is its advocacy of living a life “in courage.” Indeed, the title of this 501 (c) (3) organization, BolderLife, implies a life lived with confidence, strength, clarity and risk. The word “courage” means to have “heart.” To live a life with heart and strength. And Cheyanne, the young woman in our film, is a wonderful model for young people in how to find that strength and confidence while maintaining heart. The frightened high school girl emerges as a courageous young woman.
How do we encourage our young people….and, indeed, all of us, to live “in courage” as opposed to fear. BolderLife seeks to bring the message of courage to counteract the many messages in our popular media of fear and shame. Through its festival and other outreach programs, BolderLife uses the arts as a vehicle for exploring life, fostering social and emotional education, and inspiring change. It hosts local high schools and middle schools for a day of films and conversation. It “introduces difficult and taboo topics through a variety of arts and “deepens the conversation with professional speakers and workshops that help audiences explore discomfort, cultivate mindfulness” and..yes, “to live in courage.”
We at Healing Voices-Personal Stories are so honored that Cheyanne’s Story will be part of this fine festival with its focus on both art and education. And in particular, we are delighted that the festival’s focus this year is on domestic violence. 50% of the programming proceeds will be donated to SafeHouse Denver, a non-profit organization which serves victims of domestic violence through both an emergency shelter and non-residential Counseling and Advocacy Center.
The BolderLife Festival will be held at the Holiday Event Center, 2644 W. 32nd Avenue, in Denver the week of October, 13th-19th. Check out this impressive organization’s website.
DVD’s of “Cheyanne’s Story”
We are pleased that DVD’s of this film are available free of charge for shelters and organizations to help education and provide an example of a domestic violence survivor. Included on the Cheyanne’s Story DVD is “A Teacher’s Story” in which Cheyanne’s teacher talks about having her as a student and about Cheyanne’s class project about domestic violence. If you would like to receive a copy please email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also go to the Healing Voices website and stream both “Cheyanne’s Story” and “Peggy’s Story”. User Guides are available on line.
Regina Ress is a storyteller, actor, educator, author. Board Member Healing Voices-Personal Stories; adjunct faculty, New York University and Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Regina believes that “Storytelling connects us to each other and to the deepest parts of ourselves.” Visit her website and Facebook page.