PodCamp: Art Brings Comfort To People In Need

Jul 2, 2018

Hello, I am Rohan Ramkumar for the NPR Illinois PodCamp.

Courtney Wick is a licensed professional counselor and art therapist at the Hope Institute. She’s also a local writer, artist, and performer in plays such as “Legally Blonde”. She is also currently the board president for the Springfield Area Arts Council and volunteers at lots of places such as the Animal Protective League and The Big Brother Big Sister foundation.

Many people don’t know what art therapy is and how it works.

“Art Therapy is basically helping you process things through creative expression. Maybe you don’t want to talk to a therapist or maybe you’re not there yet or maybe you aren’t verbal. So a lot of my students have autism and art it sort of gives them a voice because they can paint, they can draw but sometimes they can’t talk."  

Courtney is very knowledgeable but she hasn’t been doing it for very long.

“It will be two years this summer.”

Art is very important to her job, and she feels it’s necessary for all students to learn.

“Art is so important because… there have been scientific studies that prove students learn better as far as reading comprehension, science and mathematics if they are exposed to the arts, music, mixed media arts, dramatic arts, all the arts. You see the whole community coming together to create something beautiful and lasting. And I think that’s what makes art so important. It brings people together who normally wouldn’t come together.”

Since Courtney is involved in so many artistic activities, like performances, or writing or making art. I had to know what her favorite type of art was.

“I’m trying to think… if I really had to choose a favorite. I think my favorite is the written word because I really enjoy poetry and writing a LOT. After that it is the dramatic arts, mostly musical theater. It creates, it’s a combination of so many arts you have to write the show, you have to perform it, you have to sing, dance, there’s costumes, there’s makeup, there’s so many sets, props. There’s so many types of arts and I feel like musical theatre combines them all."

This has been Rohan Ramkumar for the 2018 NPR PodCamp.

  NPR Illinois PodCamp is an annual program teaching media literacy, civic education, journalism, and technical skills to aspiring students.