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Current Talk

HEALTHCARE – A HUMAN RIGHT : Moving into Compassion

“Your creativity and passion open pathways for important conversations without instantly polarizing folks. And the world sorely needs that right now.” Rev. Dr. Nancy Burton Dilliplane

This current talk builds on previous presentations and enters new territory. The artist shares her own self-transformation brought on by advocating for healthcare for others.

An art project, Art As Social Inquiry is also a process — curiosity to connection to compassion. Bits of performance art, conversation and information, this talk is the story of a former business owner who reignited a love affair with art and was dizzied by all she felt, saw, and experienced on her way to the true meaning of compassion.

This talk also takes a look at healthcare in the US by way of the portraits. The artist shares personal stories, epiphanies, and her eureka moment when she understood that compassion is for the courageous and fierce. And practicing compassion sets our spirits free.

“Just wanted to say how much I appreciate your time, talent and passion and thank you for sharing them with Trinity. Everyone is still talking about how you gave health care a human face and story.  So powerful. Blessings on all you are about.” The Rev. Dr. Nancy Burton Dilliplane, Trinity Episcopal Church, Buckingham, PA

“Over the years, I’ve seen Theresa present her paintings, and talk about the lives they portray, and each time, they become more real to me. There is this deep emotional connection that Theresa makes with each person, and it becomes incarnate through her telling. Theresa’s men and women are living, breathing embodiments of healthcare, personifying all the issues that drive the movement. It is in some part her paintings, each one looking me in the eye, into my soul, and asking me to know them, but a large part is feeling Theresa’s love and passion. She didn’t just paint pictures, she knew each person and I think, they knew her. She shares not just her art, but her own pain and grief and laughter and happiness, and you can’t help but feel that.  She doesn’t just see and express the world, she lives it. And recognizes it, and then, lovingly, teaches us.”  Beth T. Activist, Bucks County, PA

“Such an inspiration. I was in this class today. Thanks for coming!”  – Bonnie S. student, Rutgers School of Social Work

“You come well endorsed!” – Cheryl O.A., Buxmont Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Past Presentations 

ART & ADVOCACY: Using Art for Social Change

The artist shares stories of her tumble into the rabbit hole where the uninsured and sick with no employer-sponsored insurance were left scratching their way out of nightmarish medical events. Who are these people, anyway?

The portraits tell the story. Behind every medical bankruptcy, untreated chronic disease, and death due to lace of access to healthcare, there is a face. Haunted by these faces and stories, the artist squared off with her government in Washington, D.C.

Five months of “standing” with portraits in our nation’s Capitol changes a person. The artist shares her personal story of transformation.

A speaker, you ask?


TRUTH TOUR 2012 MEDICARE: What’s at stake?

In 2012 the artist took Art As Social Inquiry​ on the road in her home district in Bucks County, PA. Using her First Amendment right of free speech and assembly in public spaces, she teamed up with experts from National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare​, Pennsylvania Health Access Network​, and Penn Action​ to talk about the value of Medicare, the healthcare law and how the Ryan budget dismantles this important program for seniors.

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