The Process of Creative Healing


March 29th, 2016

Omaha, NE — This week, KANEKO and UNO find news ways to connect art and healing.

The Kaneko/UNO Creativity Library

The Kaneko/UNO Creativity Library

Thursday night marks the last installment of the second season of the Process creativity talks, a collection of panel discussions on creativity in its many forms held between the UNO Writer’s Workshop and the Kaneko/UNO Creativity Library in the Old Market. This latest discussion will focus around creativity and healing.

UNO Writer’s Workshop Professor Anna Monardo talked about how the unusual pairing came up.

“As most of the events in the series came to be, it came up through conversation with Melinda as we were brainstorming,” Monardo said. “I can’t remember how we hit on this but when one of us said it, we thought ‘Yeah, absolutely. We need to talk about that.’”

This week’s panelists include Mental Health Practitioner Andrew Aleman, Dr. William Lydiatt, the director of Head & Neck Surgery at UNMC, James Van Arsdall, the professor of Political Science and Human Relations at Metro Community College, and Manger Baw, a scholar in the UNO Thompson Learning Community.

Kaneko staff member Melinda Kozel said that the Kaneko Creativity Library sees more than it’s fair share of medical professionals walk through their doors. To her, it showcases how everyone, regardless of profession, uses creativity in their everyday lives.

“It’s interesting that a lot of our regular patrons are UNMC students,” Kozel said. “They seem to really love being in that space to do their work. Maybe because it’s a different feel than the facilities they’re used to? It’s interesting that it’s people in a scientific field that seems so technical and so literal, they need that a little bit to fill out what they are doing.”

The idea of healing as a creative act is one that hasn’t been discussed at length around the Omaha area. Professor Monardo thinks there are plenty of stories and discussions to share on the subject. Kozel agreed, saying that everyone has their own story of healing to share.

“I think there is also a creative process in healing because people reach different stages at different times,” she said. “Some people may feel fully healed, some people will never feel like they are fully healed. That’s just interpreting what your experience is. And then outside of the individual, particularly, I’m interested in talking to Andrew about how society heals as well; not just the individual or the patient or the one person affected.”

The last installment of the Process creativity talks is Thursday evening, March 31st at 5:30pm. A Q&A with audience members will follow the panel discussion. For more information on the discussion series, visit

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