"Shelley King embodies Play, Fun and Laughter while giving people the tools to navigate difficult times and emotions safely and creatively!! Her Artful Connections workshops and services inspire the imagination while gently helping participants bring out their true Inner Child. For healthier individuals, families and organizations alike, Shelley King and Artful Connections are a must!"
Life Coach, Educator, Speaker (www.sweetperspectives.ca)
Like so many people with aging and ailing parents, I spent a lot of time visiting my mom in her palliative care room as she continued to deteriorate physically, mentally and emotionally, with less and less hope of recovery. I was at a loss as to how to create joyful and meaningful ways to spend time together. My visits left me feeling stressed, sad and helpless. I also felt guilty that I didn’t know how to do more for her. The doctors were doing their best to provide her with “quality of care”, but there was little left of her “quality of life”. We all need both.
It wasn’t until after her death, 15 years ago, that I discovered the joy and connection that results from the use of expressive arts, puppetry and storytelling. In the decade following my mom’s death, I completed my university diploma in social work, received certification in family supports, completed my post-graduate training as an expressive arts facilitator, and studied & practiced puppetry arts. Since then, I have put my skills and experience to work with many people whose quality of life has been compromised due to changes or differences in their cognitive function. The use of expressive arts and puppetry have proven to be two powerful tools for building relationships, augmenting communication, problem-solving, healing, storytelling, educating, and simply having fun and playing. It is the answer I was looking for, all those years ago with my mom.
In 2013, I started my own business, Artful Connections (formerly called Puppeteria), to share the power of using puppetry and expressive arts with others. I have worked with hundreds of clients directly, and coached many caregivers, social workers, and educators on how to use these same creative tools in their professional practices.
Now - I’m very excited to be expanding my reach world-wide, through The Artful Connections Learning Studio, by developing and delivering on-line webinars and courses.
Our newest service in the Peterborough Ontario area provides family caregivers of people with dementia, a much needed break while we engage their loved one in a “Create Date”. We report back to the family, which arts-based activities result in the most joyful and meaningful outcomes, so family members can have their own “Create Date” while enhancing quality of life and making “new” joyful memories with their loved one. To learn more, click here .
We look forward to supporting you to add more creativity, playfulness and connection in the work you do with others!