CCP ADVOCATES MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS IN 3-DAY ARTS FESTIVAL

September 11, 2018

PRESS RELEASE
September 9, 2018

THE Cultural Center of the Philippines in cooperation with the Julia Buencamino Project presents WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME? for its second edition of the Festival of Arts & Ideas slated on September 14-16, 2018 at various CCP venues.

The interactive arts festival aims to develop awareness of mental health, build mental resilience, and overcome the stigma of mental illness through therapeutic arts activities. 

The festival will feature performances, workshops and film screenings that will shed light on struggles with mental health as well as motivate participants towards artistic self expression and hopefully, healing.

It encourages self expression among participants by providing them with a variety of workshops to choose from - prose or poetry writing, creative movement, painting, print-making, playing music through the ukulele. They hopefully gain enough interest to pursue these new skills after the festival and find a support group in the art community.

Will You Still Love Me? is a line taken from the poem penned by the late Julia Buencamino, daughter of actors Shamaine Centenera Buencamino and Nonie Buencamino.  Julia died from suicide on July 7, 2015.

The poem reads:

"When my mask shatters
and you see how broken I really am,
will you still love me?”

Julia’s poem, said Shamaine, who is the festival director and curator, “speaks of the fear that most people struggling with mental health suffer---the fear that they won’t be accepted and loved.”

The Julia Buencamino Project is a mental health advocacy founded by Shamaine and Nonie to honor their daughter’s memory, to help children suffering from mental illness and to educate people about mental health.

The Festival at the CCP, Shamaine said, will continue the dialogue started by the Julia Buencamino Project “in exploring tools for carers of people with mental health conditions as well as harness the arts for mental health through performances and workshops.”

“Will You Still Love Me? Festival of Arts & Ideas is aimed at survivors and sufferers of mental health problems as well as their carers, health and wellness professionals and educators. 

“The festival is for everyone,” Shamaine emphasized, “because our health includes mental health. Mental health affects everyone.”

During the festival, a paper crane tree will be installed at the CCP Little Theater Lobby. The paper crane tree serves as the unifying symbol of the festival as it carries messages of hope and self affirmation of participants in the festival.

Also in the same venue, an exhibit/installation inspired by the Julia Buencamino Bench Project will be mounted by artist Alwin Reamillo with contributions from visual artists from the Philippine High School for the Arts Amorsolo-Abelardo Batch.

Each day of the festival will begin with a mindfulness exercise using breath, visual imagery and body awareness.

The checking in activity will be followed by workshops and film screenings in the afternoons and performances in the evenings.

According to Shamaine, the workshops are designed to teach participants skills to practice the arts as a way to improve the mind and manage stress. Film screenings will give viewers more information on different mental conditions as well as an opportunity to ask psychologists questions to understand mental illness more.  Performances will allow audiences to emphatize with those who suffer and to continue fighting mental illness by living inspired lives.

“We hope to create a community that helps build mental resilience through the arts,” Shamaine said. “Art heals. Art helps focus the mind. Art even changes the way the brain functions.”

For more information about WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME? FESTIVAL OF ARTS AND IDEAS please call 832-1125 local 1606 or visit www.culturalcenter.gov.ph.