Expressions: An Evening of Poetry, Music, and Visual Art

by July 2022

To Benefit Middleway Health Foundation

Dedicated to Mental Health Access for All

On the last Friday of every month, at 6 pm, something truly magical is happening in the heart of East Sacramento. Musicians, painters and poets from every walk of life come together to perform and present art in all its modalities. The artists have a platform to speak their truth and the greater community has a place to gather and connect with one another but the benefits do not end there.

Lama Yeshe Jinpa, who serves as both a Spiritual director of Lion’s Roar Dharma Center and as a Licensed Family Marriage Counselor at Middle Way Health Foundation teamed up with good friend Clemon Charles, an amazing singer/songwriter, to promote and host Expressions. The monthly, artistic event also serves as a vehicle to shine much needed light on the lack of access to Mental Health Care and the sometimes devastating consequences of this disparity.

Under the leadership of Lama Jinpa (aka Stephen Bryant Walker LMFT) Middleway Health Foundation made an intentional commitment towards those who are suffering mental health challenges and who are at risk of falling through the cracks. The Foundation’s mission is to close this gap by providing free, no strings attached, direct, one on one psychotherapy, social work and consulting for low-income individuals who would not otherwise have access.

Each month, Expressions brings art, food and people together with joy, inspiration and positivity while spreading the Foundation’s critical message. Last month, Navajo painter and musician Elizabeth Davis presented two abstract pieces. She shared that they were inspired during a difficult time in her life. Later in the program, she sang a traditional Navajo song in honor of her deceased grandmother. Rapper and community activist, Chris Worden rapped with passion and humor about the pain of being shut down and judged for being true to himself. Clemon Charles sang an original song about the universality of our human experience and a challenge to “take a chance, “ Such a beautiful song. A member of the audience, a Japanese storyteller, spontaneously requested permission to tell a sweet poem/story about looking for love. Songwriter Sarah Reiwitch captured our hearts with an original song about Ukraine.

Great courage and compassion combined with extraordinary talent made time stand still and for a short while we were transported to another dimension, a sacred place where at the end of the day, we knew without a doubt “Love Wins!”