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WPC Update – Getting Creative, and Living Better, with Parkinson's

Have you ever seen grass grow? Do you feel your blood boiling? Have you heard a rainbow or seen the wind? Does one really smell the roses? How do you tell others that you have experienced one, some or all of the above? No doubt it would take a bit of creative imagination to help others "see" what you are talking about. Are these experiences worth doing again or trying to replicate? Is there something therapeutic about the mere act of expressing oneself in such a creative way?

As one of many components of next February's World Parkinson Congress (WPC) in Washington, DC, the therapeutic value of creativity will weave in and out of the main fabric of the Congress like a silver thread of discovery - something like the "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" theme in the Wizard of Oz. One goal of the subcommittee on the Therapeutic Value of Creativity is to offer a forum for discussion and exploration of "creativity as therapy" as it relates to Parkinson's disease. Another is to provide a space where the fruits of that creativity may be enjoyed by Congress attendees.

Accompanying the numerous symposia, workshops and abstracts dealing with quality of life with Parkinson's will be a stunning open area featuring the display of artwork, and space for group discussions and demonstrations of the creativeness in the PD community. These will include presentations by artists - all of them, people with Parkinson's - on the role that creativity plays in their day-to-day living with this disease and, conversely, how Parkinson's affects their creativity or their ability to express it.

The art work and performances will be selected by a diverse panel of critics (still in formation) comprising representatives from various backgrounds: museums, colleges and universities, publishing companies, art leagues and interested laypersons. Some of the panel members will be people who live with Parkinson's disease; others, not.

If you or anyone you know who has Parkinson's would like to learn more about submitting work for the Congress, contact Sharon Stone at sstone@pdf.org or visit www.worldpdcongress.org to see the program and submit an application. We believe you will be glad you did so…and that you will be further inspired to join us February 22-26, 2006 at the new Washington, DC Conference Center!