Earlier this month, we gave mini-workshops at the National Art Education Association (NAEA) in the Sakura booth. (Sakura makes the pens we use.)
We gave 30 minute classes on the hour and the half hour! (They were supposed to be 20 minutes, but once we got going we blew right through that limit.) We probably gave about 25 mini-workshops . . . whew! Here's a hastily grabbed phone camera view from inside the booth.
We had between 20 - 30 people at each event. Those who couldn't work on the counter had small 8 inch square gatorboard "palm boards" for support.
At the end of one mini-workshop a lady got our attention. She said she had come by just to tell us her story. She teaches art at a college in Boston. (It was either BC or BU, we forget.) She and her students had begun an outreach program with patients in Children's Hospital in Boston, specifically in the chemotherapy wing.
When a child goes there for treatment, his or her arm is strapped down and the chemo is administered. It must be awfully painful because according to her, the children cry a lot.
She and her students worked with the hospital staff to immobilize the kids' non-dominant arms so they could be free to draw. They taught the children how to draw using the Zentangle method during treatment.
"I just wanted to let you know the powerful impact that Zentangle is having that you may not know about," she said. "When these children created their Zentangle tiles, they stopped crying. No more tears!"
She described how these children became focused on creating and how they valued their tiles as a talisman of this critical part of their life's journey.
Well, after hearing this and holding this woman's hand, tears were running freely. Our next class began with explaining why we were crying!