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Mental Health & Activism, Native Education & Art Workshop

May 18 @ 9:30 am 12:30 pm EDT

Join us for a day of creation starting with a workshop led by “Mental Health and Activism” Sanctuary Eco-Art Trail resident Rainer Posselt with artist Jillian Hirsch. This participatory workshop will focus on mental health, healing, Native education and creative voice through art.

Rainer Posselt will lead community in a participatory art project at NATURE Lab Talking Circle, with collaborative support from Stockbridge-Munsee teacher / crafter Wanonah Spencer, and artist/educator Jillian Hirsch. The workshop includes a community dialogue about mental health, education about the Native tradition of Stockbridge-Munsee basketry adorned with potato-stamped patterns, and art activities.

Detail of the Mohican basket returned to the Stockbridge-Munsee Band Mohican Nation in April 2023, in Stockbridge-Munsee Band Mohican Nation.

More about Rainer Posselt

Rainer enjoys learning about tribal history, and Mohican and Munsee language.Rainer Posselt is a member of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans. He was born and raised on the Stockbridge reservation in Northern Wisconsin, but has since relocated to Milwaukee to pursue his education. He begins his PhD in Psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in the Fall of 2023. His master’s thesis at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee examines how historic trauma has affected attachment patterns in Native American populations. Rainer is an alumnus of Marquette University, completing his Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Sciences, and has also studied Public Health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Rainer has worked in the tribal health sphere in various roles including community health programming and evaluation, as well as in tribal food sovereignty and tribal historic preservation. Rainer enjoys learning about tribal history, and Mohican and Munsee language.Rainer Posselt comes to NATURE lab as part of the NEA Our Town project “Sanctuary Eco-Art Trail” for a “Mental Health and Activism” Residency.

More about Jillian Hirsch

Jillian Hirsch is a visual artist and art educator. She currently is the Director of Arts Education at the Arts Center of the Capital Region. She is originally from South Jersey/Upstate New York and received her MFA at the University of Tennessee. She has been a handbuilding instructor at Mighty Mud and Visual Art Teacher at the L&N STEM Academy, and has led participatory arts workshops around the country. Jillian’s artistic practice is focused in ceramic sculpture, community engagement, and large-scale installations of tile mosaics. Through her artistic practice, Jillian strives to engage others in dialogue concerning ecological literacy and environmental issues while exploring speculative futures on a damaged planet.

More about Wanonah Spencer

Wanonah Spencer is a member of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of the Mohicans, and lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Wanonah will support with workshop development on the Stockbridge-Munsee Reservation at the Family Center in Bowler, Wisconsin. Wanonah is a member of the Stockbridge-Munsee Language & Culture Committee. She is a Fellowship with Alliance for a Viable Future in the Berkshires, including work their key programs – Indigenous Peoples’ Day Weekend and the Berkshires Climate Leadership Collaborative. Wanonah’s mission of establishing Mohican Roots: Alliance for a Viable Future, a sister organization to Alliance for a Viable Future dedicated to cultural revitalization and climate education on her reservation in Wisconsin.

This workshop is suppported by the NEA Our Town creative placemaking project Sanctuary Eco-Art Trail, which connects Indigenous legacy with environmental justice (in partnership with the Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of Mohican Indians). Co-sponsored by NATURE Lab and Peoples Health Sanctuary.

3319 6th Ave
Troy, NY 12180 United States
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We use art and participatory action to promote social and environmental justice and freedom of creative expression.

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