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Trauma and Creativity: How Your Experience Becomes Your Purpose

Tue, April 4th, 2023
7:30 pm
- 9:00 pm

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Mikel Jollett, author of “Hollywood Park,” musician, and frontman for the band, The Airborne Toxic Event, will present, “Trauma and Creativity: How Your Experience Becomes Your Purpose,” on Tuesday, April 4, at 7:30 p.m., on the Main Stage of the ‘62 Center. Free and open to the public. No tickets required. Audience members are required to wear masks.

In his talk, Jollett will discuss, “how despite our successes, we all carry trauma. Even if we haven’t used that word to describe our experiences, we each bear the burden of shame and guilt. And by simply being human, we all endure grief over those we’ve lost. Inside the highly-curated personas we’ve built, we have constructed monuments to this grief. These monuments lurk in our hearts and minds, unseen by our co-workers, friends, family and community. They may not even be apparent to ourselves. Yet these monuments make us into the people we are today. Ninety percent of the art in the world is an external manifestation of these internal monuments. And our stories, even the ones we don’t want to tell – especially the ones we don’t want to tell – are a gift. Healing from these scars, while harnessing their power, enables us to offer our true value to the world: as artists, as creators, as leaders, and as people. With his sharp wit and extraordinary vulnerability, Mikel constructs a road map that allows listeners to transform even the most challenging life experiences into opportunities for growth.”

“Hollywood Park,” is his New York Times bestselling memoir of his tumultuous life. In his book, he details his childhood born in an infamous cult. He and his mother eventually escape to a life steeped in poverty, abuse, violence, alcoholism, and drug addiction. Music is his only solace on many nights. Jollett eventually reconnects with his ex-con, recovering heroin addict father and goes on to get a full scholarship to Stanford University. He travels the world as a music journalist, meeting his heroes (David Bowie and Robert Smith) who give him songwriting advice, which he then puts to use and eventually becomes the lead singer of the indie band, The Airborne Toxic Event.

Presented as the second in the Cohan Family Forum series on Mental Health and Trauma. Co-sponsored by the  Class of ‘71 Public Affairs Forum, the Lecture Committee, the Psychology Department and the Music Department. Other series events:

Free and Open to the Public. Masks are required.

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