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Death and The Arts

Bringing artists and other people together from all over the world to explore the topics of death, life and the arts.

Photo of Betsy Trapasso, MSW
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Death and The Arts brings artists and other people together from all over the world to explore the topics of death, life and the arts. It is a safe space for interviews and conversations and to learn how people from different cultures view and do death.

 

About Death and The Arts

When I began working as a hospice social worker in Los Angeles in 1994, I became fascinated with how different cultures view and do death. It is difficult for many people to talk about death but what I discovered was that people could talk about death more easily if it was related to art. It could be a song, a book, a photo, a film, a poem, a painting or a play about death that moved them to talk. My dream of exploring different cultures' views of death through art has been over twenty years in the making. 

I am interviewing artists and other people to see how the arts influence their views and thoughts about death. They will also share about the art they create.

My first published interview is with Greg Nobile, a Tony and Olivier award winning Broadway theater producer. You can read it on the website. 

http://deathandthearts.com/interviews/

I want people from different cultures to learn from each other and to share their experiences. I am hoping that it will spark online and real world end-of-life conversations. I also plan to create shows around the world to showcase some of the art and artists.

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

I would love for you to think about the arts that influenced your views and thoughts about death. It can be a book, a painting, a song, a photo, a film, a play, food, fashion, a poem, etc..
What does that work of art mean to you? How did it help you think about death? Are there works of art from different cultures that influence your thoughts about death?

*FOR THOSE SUBMITTING TO THE CREATIVE EXPRESSIONS MISSION*

Betsy Trapasso

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Photo of Peggy Hartzell

Betsy, Thanks for  bringing up the important role of the arts dying.  I did my thesis  for my Masters in Art Education at University of the Art on The Role of  Creativity in Aging and Dying.  I was also teaching Art/Photography in High School and taking care of my 90 year old mother at the same time. I feel that the arts are an important part of the dying process for both  the caregivers and the person moving on.

Photo of Betsy Trapasso, MSW

Hi Peggy,
Thanks for sharing about your Masters thesis. It sounds very interesting. Like you point out, I have also found the arts and creativity to be important to many of the people I have worked with. It will be interesting to see how the arts play a part in this end of life challenge.
Take care,
Betsy

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