Tuesday, March 31, 2015

On the Eve of Give InterPlay Day

Dear friends,

I have been a social worker for over 20 years and an advocate all my life.  I am feeling so lucky to be a part of the InterPlay Atlanta , an organization that builds community, serves under-served populations and has a lot of fun in the process!

On the eve of Give InterPlay Day, A national event to fund InterPlay projects around the nation,  I am reflecting about the current projects in the works through InterPlay Atlanta and I wanted to share with you some of these exciting programs.

One of my amazing Social Work and InterPlay Mentors +Sheila K Collins  & I at the Center for Civil and Human Rights

Here is an excerpt our director, Jennifer Denning wrote on the Give InterPlay Day page:

In 2015 we have many exciting opportunities to bring InterPlay to underserved communities in Georgia.
  • We continue our work with the women at Lee Arrendale State Prison in partnership with Reforming Arts.
  • In April, we begin InterPlay classes at the Atlanta Pretrial Detention Center, part of the detention center's programming that is designed to support and empower women during their time of incarceration.
  • We will bring InterPlay to NAMI of Georgia in conjunction with a street performance they will bring to downtown Decatur to raise awareness about mental illness.
  • We have the opportunity to be a part of the programming for underserved communities in Clarkston, Georgia, in partnership with the Clarkston Community Center (CCC), especially serving seniors and youth from refugee communities in Clarkston.

Lee Arrendale State Prison - photo by Christine G.
I've had the extraordinary opportunity to co-lead, with +Jennifer Denning, a 15 week group at Lee Arrendale state prison and here is a quote from Wende Ballew, Executive Director of Reforming Arts, Inc. that really gives voice to what we do:

"The InterPlay class at Lee Arrendale State Prison is a wonderful addition to Reforming Arts' Higher Education at LASP program. From community building to providing a space for fun and creative self-expression InterPlay is invaluable to our organization and loved by the women at Lee Arrendale State Prison." 

And from another community partner:

"The Office of the Public Defender is ecstatic to partner with InterPlay to bring a unique component of movement and song to women of the Atlanta City Detention Center.  We are working with an underserved population to enhance their sense of self and empower, educate and develop their skills so that they can re-enter the community successfully.  With the help of InterPlay, we hope our women will be able to use movement, music and personal storytelling to positively express their emotions and stories."

Here is a brief blog I wrote about one of my experiences Going To Prison.

Another exciting project is in the process of bringing InterPlay to the Clarkston Community Center (CCC), through +Ruth Schowalter who plans on serving seniors and youth from refugee communities in Clarkston.

Atlanta InterPlay Leaders +Ruth Schowalter , +Jennifer Denning  & +Christine Gautreaux 
What amazes me is these are just a few of the projects we have going.  The leaders of Atlanta InterPlay are committed and called to serve under-served communities in addition to our regular play-groups which offer a range of delightful opportunities to play and build community simultaneously.  

I hope you'll join me and  InterPlay Atlanta tomorrow on Give InterPlay Day to help support and continue this incredible work:


Wrapping you around with infinite love and gratitude,

Christine Gautreaux, LMSW
Certified InterPlay Leader

TX Wildflowers -  3/30/2015

1 comment:

  1. Christine! What an amazing opportunity the Atlanta InterPlay leaders have to collaborate with members in underserved communities--to learn from them about their experiences and to share the forms of InterPlay that are so respectful of the individual while supporting more grace and building connections with us all.