"Art does more than relax us, it has the power to improve our health. Creative expression promotes greater self-understanding, relieves psychological and physical stress while healing is being at one with yourself and the universe. Art puts you in harmony spiritually, mentally, and physically with your environment. One law of the mind is that creative tasks like writing and drawing bring
things from the subconscious mind forth. More is revealed as you write and answers can come from your inner wisdom. If another language was spoken when you were abused as a child, you will remember in that language. If you were abused before you learned to talk, your writing may come out as baby talk. Writing has been proven to boost your immune system. Poetry readings and groups stop the isolation and privatizing of cultural and global problems like abuse and addiction."

--Chinwe Odeluga

 

Past Featured Artists

The featured artist section is a space reserved by Arte Sana to honor those artists, who through their work, have drawn attention to gender violence and racism issues and have given voice to underserved survivors. We are proud to promote the efforts of these talented and dedicated individual(s) and group(s).

CHINWE ODELUGA

Chinwe Odeluga is an African-American filmmaker, poet, Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, lesbian and women's health activist. She also serves as an Austin Arts Commission Literature Advisory Panelist. 

Much of Chinwe's poetry revolves around the promotion of the integration of the multiple identities which constitute being African-American, female, and lesbian.  In 1982, Chinwe's poetry was published in the journal, Women for Sobriety. In 1999, her poems about racial injustice were published in Best Texas Writing 2 and TEX.  In June 2000, she was a contest winner of the "In Our Own Voice" poetry contest and her submission, "A Real Indian," was displayed in the San Diego Women's History Reclamation Project Exhibit. In April 2001, her poem, "A Dry Mattress (for Betty)" was included in the anthology, In the Company of Women.

Ms. Odeluga has read at the NIA (lesbians of African descent) and National Black Lesbian Gay Leadership Conferences. In 1993-1995 she contributed poetry and articles for the Tarrant County Lesbian/Gay Alliance News as well as the Impressions of Ujima, the African-American Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Coalition in Dallas. As a part of healing, she has encouraged the creative spirits of women in recovery. Since 1988, Chinwe has coordinated programs for women to experience poetry and the arts.  

Chinwe is currently working on Poetic Healings, a video which deals with abuse, biphobia, breast cancer, lesbianphobia and racism. Poetic Healings has been screened at the Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival, The First National Conference on Lesbians & Cancer, as well as other venues. She is also compiling a companion Poetic Healings poetry self-help treasure. 

In the past, Chinwe has worked at a battered women's shelter, been a rape crisis volunteer, an HIV counselor and a People With AIDS advocate. She has also served a member of the National Black Women's Health Project, National Organization for Women as well as the National Women's Health Network.

Presently, Ms. Odeluga is a producer for the Austin Community Access Center (ACAC) and has taken video production classes at Women's Access to Electronic Resources (WATER) and Dallas Community Television (DCTV). She is currently a member of the Austin Film Society as well as REEL Women, a non-profit organization that provides a support system for women in film. As a RW production group member, Chinwe was cameraperson for the 1999 short, "Deal of Fortune," which dealt with a woman making a non-traditional life choice. 

Ms. Odeluga holds a BS in mass communications.
 
Visit Chinwe at http://www.angelfire.com/movies/poetichealings

 


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