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Photo: Mike Geffner/InspiredWordNYC
Photo: Mike Geffner/InspiredWordNYC

Is creativity good for emotional stability? Is emotional stability good for creativity?

Audrey “Wildfire” Dimola, a local poet and curator, will present How We Create & How We Cope, a night of discussion and sharing on the intersection of mental health and the artistic experience at Queens Council on the Arts in Astoria on Feb. 10, at 6:30 pm. The event will include live performances, story-telling, poetry, and a Q&A session.

Dimola, the author of two books on prose and poetry and the Director of Public Programs at Socrates Sculpture Park, aims to create a safe space for honest talk and open presentation about the often-stigmatized topic of mental illness. She looks to explore the following questions: How much of how we suffer makes us who we are and results in the art we create? How much of these feelings are the natural experiences of the artist? When is it time to seek help? What do those forms of help look like?

She also hopes to foster resource-sharing among those present.

All are welcome, and spontaneous contributions are expected. Here is the current list of performers: Danny Matos; Steven Licardi; Tessa Kennedy; Sydney Hartlove; Richie Alexandro; Carrie Noel; Sana Hussain; Cindy Peralta; Bryan Bruner; Alicen Grey; Kelly Isaacs; Louie KR.ONE Gasparro; Deborah Emin; Kymberly Nolden; Belinda Mims; Olena Marukhnyak; Jonathan Cherlin; and Lauren Biniaris.

Throughout history, many legendary artists — painters such as Vincent Van Gogh; musicians such as Charlie Parker; writers such as Ernest Hemingway; and actors such as Robin Williams – have grappled with problems including depression, anxiety, paranoia, bipolar disorder, and OCD. This trend continues in the creative community these days, according to Dimola.

Tickets are $5 a piece, and organizers expect the venue to fill to capacity. For guaranteed entry, purchase here.

This event is part of Queens Council on the Arts’s LAB, a collective of borough-based writers dedicated to developing new work and providing each other with peer support.

Images courtesy of Audrey Dimola

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