Dr. Hyunji Kwon is an Associate Professor of Art Education and Women’s and Gender Studies Department Affiliate at USC. She designs and facilitates creative art workshops and often curates the exhibition of participants’ artworks with the help of WWBI graduate students.
Among communities of color, women are often uniquely affected by various forms of adversity. The creative arts workshops are designed to work with trauma-affected women residing in a transitional home from periods of a few months to years. The workshops attempt to facilitate healing with women who have struggled with adverse life experiences by helping them to rebuild their resilience.
The workshops are comprised of eight 1.5-2 hour-long arts activities. A series of creative arts workshops are provided 1 to 2 times a year and integrate trauma-informed art pedagogy with visual arts of mixed media, body-focused type of art, and creative writing. The WWBI creative arts workshops create a space for the women to express and work through their difficult and pleasant feelings and memories while gaining a sense of resilience and community. The unique artworks produced in these workshops reveal the hidden layers of who they are and embody a common strength and subjectivity-in-transition.
In fall 2019, the workshop was provided to women aged 20-60 at Killingsworth, a local transitional home located in Columbia. In spring 2020, several female sexual violence survivors aged 20-30 from the USC campus participated the workshops. Each semester since the fall of 2020, the workshops have been offered to women aged 20-60 at Hannah House, a Columbia-based transitional home for women and their children.