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Arlo Parks art therapy

Arlo Parks is launching an art therapy project

The musician is on a quest to unleash the healing power of creativity with Arlo’s Art Therapy as part of Dazed and Converse’s Open To Change programme

“I believe that young people are the future,” singer, songwriter, poet and Mercury Award winner Arlo Parks told Dazed last year. “I would like to inspire and encourage them to express themselves freely, boldly, and unapologetically: I want them to understand that to have empathy, care about things, and be sensitive is a gift.”

The south Londoner and Dazed100 alumni has always woven London subcultures, mental health, and themes of fragility and resilience into her work, making music that speaks to her “Super Sad Generation” – the ones who areeating Parma Violets on the way back from therapy”, as she sings on the soothing, evocative “Second Guessing”.

“When I write songs, it’s always very feelings-based,” Parks said in an interview with Lava La Rue for Dazed. “One thing that is a constant (in my music) is the vulnerability.”

Now, the longtime advocate for the therapeutic power of art is partnering with Dazed and Converse to launch Arlo’s Art Therapy, in support of suicide prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).

Running as part of Open To Change, Arlo’s Art Therapy will see Parks celebrate the ways in which creative expression can be cathartic, as well as helping her audience explore how they can create their own therapeutic art practice. This will be multi-faceted, both through the creation of her bespoke Art Therapy Journal, and through her Open Call to any creative from around the world who wants to get involved.

“Art therapy is something anyone can practice: losing ourselves to a gorgeous song or picking up a paintbrush is a healing experience, made for everyone,” says Parks, in this special project video. “There’s beauty in the possibility of what we will create next, it’s the journey not the outcome.”

A true multi-hyphenate, Parks began writing poetry and short stories when she was just 11 years old, and she still experiments with poetry, visual art and even acting to this day. She wants to bring this expansive vision of what it means to be creative to the power of art as a healing practice, with mediations on the power of words, sound and visual art.

It all kicks off with her Open Call for submissions from creatives of all stripes who’ve found solace in making art. All you have to do to be in with a chance to see your work appear on fly posters across London, Manchester, and Bristol (and be paid for it too!) is submit a piece of work that you found therapeutic to create, along with a message explaining why it helped you.

We’ll be dropping details of how to submit your work very soon, so stay tuned for it, as well as plenty more to come too.

Watch Arlo Parks share her vision, in a video directed by Rodrigo Inada, above. 

For updates on Open To Change follow @dazed, @converse, and @converse_london.