Within Medical Contexts

Within Medical Contexts


“Watching the magic of Kali’s performance gave the audience the courage and motivation to ask questions about care-giving and speak of concerns around dementia that have probably been on their hearts for a long time.” ~ Miriam Callahan, Dept of Senior Services in Buffalo, NY

 Since I was a kid, I 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 enable challenging dialogues that start from the place of common story and empathy.

I now use my own performances and creative process to train medical professionals in Compassionate Creativity.

This unique method gives a new foundation of support to medical students, physicians, and caretakers by empowering them to reconnect with and practice their own strengths of compassion and creativity within community with one another. This has helped with compassion fatigue and overall patient interaction. It also has the power to help create more welcoming clinical settings and more effective communication style and use of time between residents themselves and within their own home lives.

I have recently created experiences in Compassionate Creativity at:

  • Duke University’s Trent Center for for Bioethics and Humanities, Workshops in End-of-Life Ethics and Medical Narratives On-State Classes
  • Creative Medicine Series at the Cogut Center for Humanities at Brown University
  • Full Circle Festival on the “Heart & Art of Aging” in Burlington, Vermont
  • Laurelmead Independent Living Center in Providence, Rhode Island
  • Artists and Scientists as Partners Symposium at Brown University
  • Clowns Without Borders in Guatemala and with Save the Children in El Salvador
  • Performances specifically for Caretakers in Buffalo, New York

In Fall 2018, I will return to Duke and also give a Compassionate Creativity: Movement of Grief  lecture/workshop that includes the following end-of-life performance at Wake Forest University’s Humanities Institute:

Kali 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…  

Jay Baruch, Emergency Physician & Medical Educator at Brown University

The ways that your clinic, school, or community group can engage with Compassionate Creativity:

  • My two original solo shows, that include live music and multiple characters, give communities the opportunity to go in-depth with complex issues such as inter-generational care, Alzheimer’s Disease and bereavement by reconnecting to the power of their own story and imagination. These performances always include facilitated discussions after the show and could include a panel discussion with different stake holders. Here is an example of a 91-year old character moving through a dementia test:
      • My two community based art -installations get participants to tell their own birth stories and engage with others or to empathize with other ages by seeing what people 0-100 associate with being their current age.
      • I give lectures about the relationship between compassion, creativity, and uncertainty and open up the room for thoughtful discussion. This could include performance excerpts.
      • I create workshops tailored to the specific needs of your group. Possible components include: storytelling, engaged listening with the whole body, personal interaction and better communication, how to be playful, and gaining perspective through various ages. These workshops could directly employ mask or clown techniques as well.
      • I have an on-going online program that sends out a daily value of Compassionate Creativity along with an inspirational story and allows people to connect with others – from various ages, disciplines and places in the world – who are engaged in the same practice.
      • I mentor practitioners individually in-person or via Skype.

      Kali Quinn generates a powerful magnetic field. One is overwhelmed with sheer awe at the range of her creativity, then captivated by the personalities and stories of her characters. Combining the joy and playfulness of a child with the wisdom of an ancient, Kali opens every heart in the room to a new level of compassion and understanding.”  ~ Camilla Rockwell, Founder & Co-Director, Full Circle Festival 2014

      Contact Kali Now to book a session for your group.