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The Expressive Instinct: How Creativity Helps Us Thrive

Feb 18, 2023 to Feb 18, 2023 2 - 3pm

Dates: Saturday 2/18
Time: 2-3p
Registration: Online registration is required. Click here to register.

Program Location: Shanis Auditorium & STEAM Lab


Self-expression is a fundamental human drive and can occur through both creative and mundane acts. Local author Dr. Girija Kaimal discusses her new book The Expressive Instinct, which explains how the complexity of human experiences, and the need to express them, manifests more profoundly when distilled into artforms and dispels the idea that creativity is the domain of a select gifted few. The book explores the questions: What is the purpose of art in our lives? Could the desire for beauty, to be surrounded by elements of nature, be an innate need? Are art and creative expression essential for a good life?

In this book, Dr. Kaimal links over 10 years of research, theories of evolutionary biology, brain sciences, as well as her own lifelong journey as an artist, scholar and educator in many personal and professional roles (textile designer, art therapist, researcher and educator). This book makes the case for why we as human beings need to stay creative and not lose our abilities to channel our inner lives in adaptive expressive ways. The arts are a container for the range of human experiences. Creative expression helps us practice and externalize imagination which in turn helps build resilience for dealing with uncertainty and change.

This presentation will be followed by a creative activity for those who wish to participate. Books will be available for sale after the event.

Author Bio: Dr Girija Kaimal (EdD, MA, ATR-BC) is Associate Professor, Interim Chair and most recently served as Assistant Dean for Special Research Initiatives at the Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions. She served as interim Chair to the oldest creative arts therapies department in the world preparing clinicians and researchers in art therapy, music therapy, dance movement therapy and counseling. In her Health, Arts, Learning and Evaluation (HALE) research lab, she examines the physiological and psychological health outcomes of visual and narrative self-expression. She has been a lifelong  visual artist and her art explores the intersection of identity and representation of emotion.  Dr. Kaimal has a doctorate from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, Master of Arts from Drexel University and Bachelor’s in Design from the National Institute of Design in India.

Registration: Online registration is required. Click here to register.


Jun 05

Citizens Police Academy

6:30 - 8:30pm
Jun 06

Mah Jongg

11:30am - 3pm