Arts & Humanities Bainbridge and Currents are keeping me sane during the pandemic. I’m a psychiatrist, and I know something about managing stress and coping. I also am the slightly eccentric lady who rides her e-bike every day in loops around her neighborhood.
That being said, a daily dose of art helps prevent cabin fever and permits me to roam as far as my imagination allows.
Neurobiologist Semir Zeki found that just viewing art causes joy, similar to the sensation of falling in love. Viewing art also relieves stress in the same way the outdoors does. Walking in nature, losing oneself in music and admiring art directly influence health and life expectancy.
AHB shifted to a virtual world when the pandemic changed our lives. As events were cancelled, we were able to share resources on our online Currents portal. When I am creating, I am transported. Currents helped connect me to Winslow Art Center where I have been taking some fabulous online art classes put together by the amazing and very resourceful Martha Jordan.
I also use Currents to direct me to the vast array of opportunities to stream art, opera, concerts, theater, and other creative offerings on Bainbridge Island. I have toured the Louvre without a plane ticket.
Recently, I spent an evening participating in a question and answer session AHB presented with Bainbridge Island residents Julia Fair and Daniel Myrick, her friend and colleague. Myrick is best known for his 1999 landmark and found footage horror film, “The Blair Witch Project.” Julia did a wonderful job interviewing Daniel about his most recent film, “Skyman,” which debuted in June 2020, and I got to jump in with a few questions via Zoom.
AHB and Currents fill my evenings with art and culture. My husband and I have had more access to art, music and culture than before the pandemic. We have watched the world class “Live at the Met” streamed operas and the extraordinary productions by the National Theater in London.
It is no surprise that my daily dose of art and culture has been instrumental in my coping with the stress of the pandemic. A comprehensive study by the World Health Organization (WHO) explored the connection between culture and health through unprecedented academic research. The report focused on five major categories with proven positive health effects through either active or passive participation, including performing arts, visual arts, literature, online arts, and culture.
By connecting us to the abundance of creativity in our community, AHB is helping us cope. Sign up for our newsletter, make bainbridgecurrents.com your go to source for what’s happening on the rock, and stay healthy.
Linda Semlitz, MD Child Psychiatrist. Linda is a retired child psychiatrist who maintained a private practice in Child Psychiatry on Bainbridge Island. She lived and worked in Asia from 1995 – 2014. During that time she worked as a Medical Director and Director of Medical Affairs for Merck, Sharpe and Dohme, a pharmaceutical non-profit mental health organization in Tokyo that provided mental health treatment and disaster response after the 3/11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown. She currently serves on the board of the Global Fund for Mental Health. She joined the AHB Board of Directors in 2017.