Archive | February 2018

Creative Arts For Veterans

Tuesday, February 20, 2018, creative arts were made available Veterans. Laura Jaquays, Founder and Artist in Residence, of Art HOPE (Healing Opportunities for People Everyday), at the Wells Reserve/Laudholm Farm. More information can be obtained about Art Hope’s programs & services on their website: Art HOPE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.


There were writing activities, drawing & visual art expressions, and a vet who played guitar in the background; there were also many art supplies that could be used to create a diverse amount of art projects.


I had the chance to meet and talk with two women who work at the Sandford VA; they have creatively “played with” how art can be used therapeutically, and have designed or modeled creative-art programming. If you’re a Vet and regularly go to the Sandford VA, and you want to try any of the art groups, contact Mental Health Services to see if you can sign-up. Art provides a very explorative way to wade into your unconscious; it’s also very meditative in its process and end result.


Contact for the Sanford Vet Center: 628 Main Street
Springvale, ME 04083; Phone: 207-490-1513 Or 207-490-1513


Art HOPE’s Mission Statement
Art HOPE is dedicated to promoting creative wellness through free expressive arts programs for people living with cancer or longterm illness and the community at large.
Upcoming events are also shown on the website, and here’s a list of what’s coming:


Calendar Of Events

FEB 23 Fri-9:30 am Art HOPE Studio at York Hospital @ York Hospital Living Well Center
MAR 14 Wed 10:30 am Art HOPE Simple Watercolors For … @ Cancer Community Center
MAR 23 Fri-9:30 am Art HOPE Studio at York Hospital @ York Hospital Living Well Center
APR 17 Tue-10:00 am Art in Nature for Veterans @ Wells Reserve at Laudholm
APR 21 Sat-10:00 am Creativity Taking Flight, Making… @ York Public Library
APR 27 Fri-9:30 am Art HOPE Studio at York Hospital @ York Hospital Living Well Center
MAY 18 Fri-9:30 am Art HOPE Studio at York Hospital @ York Hospital Living Well Center
JUN 1 Fri-10:00 am Art HOPE Gallery & Garden Studio… @ Ogunquit Museum of American Art
JUN 3 Sun-2:00 pm Art HOPE 1000 Healing Cranes Hon… @ York Hospital Living Well Center
JUN 26 Tue-10:00 am Art in Nature for Veterans @ Wells Reserve at Laudholm


Art HOPE will continue to have these “Art days” for Vets at the Wells Reserve at Laudholm, in Wells, ME-the next one will be held on Tuesday, April 17 at 10:00 AM, followed by another on June 26, 2018. Please contact Laura Jaquays, if you have interest in attending or volunteering in some way. Contact Info: Email:


Special thanks to our community partners:
Art HOPE Youth Service in Healthcare Program; Artists; Berwick Academy; Berwick Public Library; Cancer Community Center; Educators; Healthcare Professionals;Maine Community Foundation; Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association; Ogunquit Museum of American Art; Town of Ogunquit; University of Maine Extension 4-H; University of New England; Waterfall Arts; Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm; YMCA Livestrong Cancer Support Program; York High School; York Hospital; York Hospital Hospice; York Housing Authority; York Public Library.


Donations can be mailed to: Art HOPE P.O. Box 2292 Ogunquit, Maine 03907.
copyright: Christopher Bear-Beam February 20, 2018.

Seeing White At the University of Southern Maine

On February 10, 2018, beginning at around 6:30PM, the two hosts of the podcast Thinking White, Dr. Chennaj Kuman TikaTuayn (my apologies for any misspelling) and John Berwin took us all to the very necessary space of ‘talkin’ ’bout race.’ The event was held at Hannaford Hall, on the University of Southern Maine campus in Portland, Maine.

Essentially the event highlighted one of the podcasts, and played some interview excerpts about race. One thought provoked my mind (not in reference to the presenters’ dialogue at all), and that was, why do so many of the more recent presentations on race, include someone with an African name? I merely wonder if this is done on purpose, and perhaps in an attempt to create imagistic pictures that look beyond the U.S.’s racial problems, onto the larger, global scene. Just askin.’

The Seeing White radio podcasts are produced in collaboration with the Racial Equity Institute Training center; the program, in its rudimentory form is ‘how can we help people see white?’ I took this to mean, how do we help white people understand white people, in the context of racial issues?

One question that one might ask at this stage of our cultural politics is ‘Hey, what the hell’s up with white people?’ Many whites, too, have an urgency to see and do something about the problem of young (perhaps around high school age or less) persons of color being assaulted, harrassed, and in some cases, wounded or killed by white Law Enforement professionals.

Chennaj Kuman TikaTuayn suggested that when we use the term “race relations” in our society, it may conjure in our mind that racism is a disease; the disease idea is a myth. He also said that the need to justify racism was the invention of multi-black slavery, in all parts of the U.S.

John Berman pointed out his observation that Boston was one of the most segregated cities he’d seen. However, we can’t split up racism geographically to say that its most virulent manifestations are in the south, or the west or anywhere else for that matter. It’s a problem in urban areas, suburban areas, and in rural areas, in all regions of the country.

Someone is reputed to have said, ‘Northerners love the race, but hate the people, and Southerners love the people, but hate the race.’ Racism’s done a number on all of us-wherever we live-so it’s a good time to bring yourself up to speed. Some Northerners may distinguish good, moral Southerners (‘good white people’) who owned slaves and compare them to ‘bad whites who owned slaves.’ This is the myth of “we’re all friends in the south, black or white.”

The ideas of color blindness and political correctness need to be taken seriously and called out if we’re in a position to do so. If a white person says, “Oh, I don’t see color-they’re all God’s children to me,” there’s a good possibility that they will hurt a person-of-color who may overhear this. Why? The bottom line is that this worldview invalidates a person of color’s uniqueness and difference from whites.

As far as this writer’s concerned, to use the hackneyed excuse that people who are anti-racist in their mind-sets use politically correct language, and this is a way they deny the problem. Yet, this is usually an excuse, not to talk about racism or even to give it any kind of emphasis or reinforcement, like saying, “Oh, we can talk about race if you want-the one problem is that we hardly have any more of the racial incidents that we used to have in the south.”

Realistically, the southern systemic structural racial system, has to bear a major responsibility for the contemporary problem of racism. Prior to that, we’ve all heard the story of Christopher Columbus-he was a merchantile agent for the king and queen of Spain-he charged them ten percent of the going price for each slave; if he whaving personal financial problems, he took slaves to sell them as slaves. In the newest as world, owning human beings as property became the lucrative way for many to get rich, but in particular, Christopher Columbus.

Here’s another interesting note from the north: in the 1800s, the mayor of New York, put forth a legal proposition to suceed from the Union. Then the Draft-Race Riots took place in New York city in 1863; after the Civil War, the Reconstruction Era began, and the north embraced this idea. Today, it’s safe to say, that most major, northern cities have worse segregation than many southern cities.

copyright: Christopher Bear-Beam February 14, 2018