Doing Well By Doing Good

On the healing power of art

How does a region like ours get itself out of the fix it's in? After building an industrial and manufacturing economy on stinky steel mills, auto plants and belching smokestacks, we're finally feeling the pinch.

The most effective people are the ones who know what they can change and what they have to live with. Around here, we might not be able to make the leap to a 21st-century economy immediately or painlessly, but we can learn to adapt while pushing for change.

Sometimes, the simple approach is the best, and the best for you. In our region, we often forget about the healing powers of the arts, culture and positive engagement. This month, we've identified a few events that might help our region find its balance while soothing our wounded psyches.

Learn how to use recycled trash to create a musical instrument. Listen to the music of a singer who cured a Spanish king's depression. Attend a workshop on regionalizing health and human services. And learn how poetry can open your heart and mind to the wisdom of the ages. It won't make the steel mills go away, but it might offer you some strategies for dealing with it.

Rock & Recycle Make resonant rubbish with Kelly Armor and Dave Sturtevant. The celebrated environmental folk duo will guide participants in a found-art journey to create instrument using recycled junk. Bring your imagination and interesting materials April 9 at 1 p.m. Call (216) 321-5935, ext. 228. Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, 2600 South Park Blvd.,

An Angel's Voice: The Legend of Farinelli Listeners can now explore the repertoire sung by the famed castrato Farinelli (a.k.a. Carlo Broschi,), whose voice was thought to have cured the depression of Spain's King Philip V. Hear baroque ensemble Rebel and Derek Lee Ragin, one of today's great countertenors, re-create the drama of a historic, European performer April 20 at 7:30 p.m. Call (216) 421-7350. The Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Blvd.,

Doing Well While Doing Good: The Role of Health and Human Services in Northeast Ohio's Regional Transformation Learn the impact of a move toward regionalism in the health and human-services sectors through workshops and speakers. April 21 at Lorain County Community College's Spitzer Conference Center, 1005 Abbe Road North, Elyria, (440) 366-4100,

Lectio Divina Meditate with poetry and you'll be surprised how it can deepen and illuminate your spiritual journey. Through both guided and private experiences of holy reading, or lectio divina, you'll concentrate on major contemporary poetry from around the world. Prepare to open yourself to the cares, hopes, humor and wisdom that are revealed by poetry's eye-opening and heart-opening power. Retreat begins April 29 at 5:30 p.m. and runs through Sunday May 1. Call (440) 884-9300. Jesuit Retreat House, 5629 State Road, Parma,

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