An Arts & Health Discussion and Experience

After a long week (and a long year!) join us on Friday, March 19, at 3:00 p.m. for a discussion of arts and health with distinguished experts in the field. Dr. Vivien Marcow Speiser and Dr. Phillip Speiser will speak about their history and work in arts therapy, arts and health, and arts education. They’ll include experiential activities for viewing and participation.

The discussion will be moderated by MCA Executive Director, Darren Farrington. Questions may be emailed prior to the event to or may submitted through the Zoom chat function during the event.

Registration is free, but required prior to attendance.

Vivien Marcow Speiser, Ph.D. LMHC, REAT, BC-DMT, is a Professor and Director of the Institute for Arts and Health in The Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences at Lesley University in Cambridge. Prof. Speiser is a licensed mental health counselor, a dance therapist, and an expressive arts therapist and educator. She has developed and implemented numerous arts-based programs throughout the U.S and Israel. As former founder and director of the Arts Institute Project in Israel, she has been influential in the development of Expressive Arts Therapy in that country. She has taught and lectured extensively throughout Scandinavia, Israel, South Africa, and the United States. She is a former chair of the New England Dance Therapy Association (NEADTA), and former co-chair of the credentials committee of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA).  In addition, she was the chair of the Massachusetts Coalition of Creative Arts Therapists (MCCAT) which was influential in the licensure of Creative Arts Therapists as Licensed Mental Health Counselor’s (LMHC). Prof. Speiser has taught throughout the world and believes in the use of the arts as a way of communicating across borders and across cultures.  She believes in the power of the arts to create the conditions for personal and social change and transformation. Her interests and expertise lie in the areas of working with communities under duress through an integrated arts approach. Many of her publications are grounded in her work with trauma and cross-cultural conflict resolution through the arts. In addition, she is an expert in the creation and performance of “rites of passage rituals” and in the use of performance in expressive therapy practice. Her contributions to the field have made her an international leader in dance and expressive therapy, and most recently earned her the 2014 Distinguished Fellows Award from the Global Alliance for Arts and Health and a 2015 Honorary Fellow Lifetime Achievement award from the Israeli Expressive and Creative Arts Therapy Association (ICET). In addition, she has received a 2019 JAAH Lifetime Achievement Award in Applied Arts and Health, and she is the current 2020 recipient of a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award. Her current interests are in generating community training and research partnerships and cross-cultural conflict resolution through the arts.

Phillip Speiser, Ph.D., REAT, RDT/BC is an expressive arts educator/therapist, drama and music therapist, and psychodramatist who has developed and implemented integrated arts therapy and educational programs for children, adolescents and families for over three decades. He is currently Director of Parkside Arts and Health Associates in Boston Massachusetts. He has served as Director at the Arbour Counseling Partial Hospitalization Program in Norwell, Mass. and also as the founding director of the Arts Therapy Department at Whittier Street Health Center in Boston. He has worked and developed programs with individuals and groups in conflict around the globe, including South Africa and the Middle East. He is known in the Boston area for his ongoing commitment and work with violence prevention through the use of the arts. After 9/11, he developed and implemented arts based “trauma recovery/prevention” programs in Boston and New York City. During the 1980’s, he lived in Sweden and did pioneering work in the field of Expressive Arts Therapy in Scandinavia. Dr. Speiser is adjunct Professor at Cambridge College, and he has taught at numerous colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad. He is the former chairperson of Very Special Arts Sweden and has worked extensively within the fields of mental health, special education, arts and medicine/health/disabilities and conflict resolution.

Published by MCA

The Mosesian Center for the Arts is a vibrant multi-disciplinary community arts organization in Watertown, Massachusetts. The 30,000 square foot Center, located within a former United States Army arsenal, includes a 340-seat main stage theater, a 100-seat black box theater, exhibition galleries, rehearsal halls, classrooms, and resident artist studios. Program offerings include visual and performing arts classes and workshops for all ages, literary and art discussions, and world-class theatrical and musical performances. Regionally recognized and acclaimed, Watertown Children’s Theatre proudly serves as MCA’s flagship performing arts education program, providing exceptional theater arts classes and performances for youth and families. New Repertory Theatre is the award-winning professional theater company in residence at MCA, and the venue is rented to other outstanding performing arts companies in the Greater Boston region.

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