Resurrection: The Effects of Communal Quilt Making on Trans-generational Trauma and Resilience of Individuals Living in Post-Katrina New Orleans

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Moore, Dixie
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
Ten years after Katrina, multiple communities throughout New Orleans continue to struggle with the prolonged effects of living in a post-disaster environment. In addition to the trauma associated with Katrina, many of these communities have a long history of multigenerational/trans-generational poverty and systemic racism, which have impacted not only the physical health but also mental health of those affected. This art therapy researcher facilitated an art-based focus group through a communal quilt-making process with four participants to collect and record their narratives and insights on how they have adapted and responded to living in post-Katrina New Orleans. This researcher discovered that continued inequities in Post Katrina New Orleans have exacerbated generational traumas therefore slowing recovery specifically those communities of African ancestry. Through art-based inquiry this researcher found that communal art making allowed for participants to identify and illuminate their generational history of continued resiliency by transforming their traumas into art. This researcher’s goals were to promote self-advocacy and healthy coping skills as well as explore possible outcomes for future research using community art-based projects as advocacy for policy change in disaster mental health care and response.