Amy grew up near Detroit in the 60s in a family of singers. This, along with the music of Motown and Burt Bacharach blaring on her kitchen radio helped her learn to sing by ear. She also loved to dance and stared working at age 13 to take jazz lessons. These, combined with her introduction to musical theatre as a child, nurtured Amy’s love of the performing arts. But in her 20sthe singing and dancing stopped due to the impact of early-childhood trauma. The physical and emotional pain kept her shut down. Then, in her 40s, she found the courage to perform in a musical theatre production and rediscovered the vitality she felt in her youth. This proved to be the first step of healing from PTS.
Amy was inspired to create Visceral after working with the Community Resilience Initiative in Walla Walla in 2010. Today, she is realizing her life’s purpose: to encourage others to integrate expressive arts into their lives for greater wellbeing. Through her film’s outreach, she will continue her work as a trauma-informed, social-change artist.
In 2017, Amy received a WA state Artist Trust Grant for Artists’ Projects for Visceral, and an Artist Residency at the Jack Straw Cultural Center, Seattle.
Amy also is currently a nonprofit organizational and leadership development consultant and coach, working with the Northwest Creative & Expressive Arts Institute. She infuses her work with years of research on resilience, interpersonal neurobiology, intentional change, and emotional intelligence. She holds a Master or Nonprofit Leadership from Seattle and a Bachelor of Arts in Consumer Economics from Wayne State University. She also is an emotional intelligence coach (EQi, Multi-Health Systems), and has a certificate of study in Appreciative Inquiry from Case Western Reserve, Weatherhead School of Management.
And yes, she still sings and dances! Since 2010 she’s performed in six musical productions, continues sings with a community choir, and takes musical theatre dance classes. For her, movement, voice, and social engagement through the performing arts continue to be life-giving forces.
Presentation at the NOAH 2020 virtual conference on my expressive-arts model: CREATE
Cohosted a panel discussion about my documentary "Visceral: transforming trauma through theatre," in conjunction with the Beyond Paper Tigers conference on adverse childhood experiences (ACES).
Presented excerpts from my documentary "Visceral" at this ArtsWA collaborative summit with the NEA and Americans for the Arts. The summit gathered together individuals and organizations from the local arts community and the military.
As a performer, Amy is uniquely skilled to share her expertise in trauma-informed expressive arts.