This October, I presented my findings around Compassionate Creativity as part of a Creative Medicine Series at the Cogut Center for Humanities at Brown University. This included audience participation two art installations – “Facing Our Age” and “Birth Stories” – along with excerpts from my solo performances.
“I have always, since I was a kid, loved to make stuff and bring people together. To create experiences that could share in the way that other people lived and the ways they died. What they remembered. What they were missing. What they loved, hated, hoped for, and feared most. What made them laugh. I wanted to have conversations about these things in order to figure out how we could take better care of each other. Theatre seemed like the best place for me to be able to practice and integration of all these things. So I became a theatre practitioner. But these past couple years I realized that I lost, or started to lose, my own practice. Why? As an adult my play has become work and I’ve started to leave love out completely. So why have I continued to invest so much time, effort, and passion into this work? What gas was I running on? Like all fields, theatre is not a field unto itself, it is a one way of looking at the world and sharing what we see. What was my question? What was I asking of the world? What was my own practice? So I started to look at my life’s work through the lens of how to cultivate compassion and creativity in myself and the communities I am a part of…”
This event was hosted by emergency physician, medical educator, and writer Jay Baruch who reflected on my presentation in a blog for Littoral Medicine. This is the best kind of “review” that this theatre maker could ever dream of:
“Ms. Quinn took the audience on a wild and profound journey through the arc of a life. Her performance carried me to a deep inner space that resulted, paradoxically, with a feeling of great connection with those around… We need more creativity in medicine because it focuses our attention towards process, expects us to make surprising connections, demands that we understand ourselves… Creativity and innovation requires courage and vulnerability, a willingness to take chances, embrace discomfort, and risk failure. That is, creativity invokes those parts of us that make us human.I can’t examine the complex challenges facing patients and healthcare providers today without believing that medicine needs artists and creative thinkers, people who look and think about the world differently, fueled by compassionate creativity.” Read More…
Please know that I continue to work on this lecture and am open to feedback and invitations to do it again.
You can watch the whole lecture here now: