• Education – Many of the participants in this program have not finished high school. Medicine Wheel requires the participants to be enrolled in a high school certificate or GED program. Medicine Wheel has a partnership with the Notre Dame Educational Academy.
• College Education – Through our graduate/undergraduate internship partnership with Lesley University, participants may also register for courses at Lesley. We required participants to continue their education path by taking advantage of this opportunity.
• Advocacy and Community Outreach – Through participation in both the Medicine Wheel Public Art Internship Program and the Daniel Morrison Fellows Program, our young people are called to recognize their roll in creative inclusive communities.
• Job Placement – The Medicine Wheel Case Management Team helps the Daniel Morrison Fellows participants in researching and identifying future job opportunities and makes referrals to career placement resources.
• Mentorship by Professional Artists – Our teaching staff is composed of professional artists who have been trained to work with young people coming from all backgrounds and life experiences.
• Public Art Projects – The young people who participate in our program assist with many public art projects.
• Civic Engagement – Part of the our mission is to ensure that young people feel connected to and engaged in their community.
• Job Training – The importance of responsibility, time management, and job readiness are at the core of our day-to-day program. Additionally, we offer workshops that focus on both personal and professional development.
• Case Management – We recognize that our young people come to Medicine Wheel bearing serious burdens in life. Our Case Management Team works with our young people to connect them with community resources and liaises between other support systems that might exists in their life.
“I’m not saying you can just wake up one day and your life is going to be great just by you wanting it to be, people need to take action and be able to ask others for help because believe it or not there are so many people willing to help others help themselves. That is what we are trying to do”.
Richie Dinsmore former youth at MW, now Director of Public Art and Advocacy
For three decades, SPOKE (formerly Medicine Wheel Productions) has been at the intersection of art and healing. Using art as a threshold, moving beyond diversity to equity and building community from the inside out are the three key principles of SPOKE. Spoke creates opportunities, places and spaces where art and artists of all disciplines are central and necessary to build community and space that can hold the human condition. Transformation through the arts and using art to move from conflict to resolution with artists facilitating the dialogue is what informs MWP’s practice.
Daniel Richard Morrison III was born on October 15, 1953, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and died on December 9, 2002, in Stowe, Vermont, while doing what he loved most in the world – skiing. He was bright, poetic, creative, and thoroughly Irish. His heart was pure gold, his temper fierce, and his generous laughter always at the ready. All his life he struggled with trying to find his place in the world. He always said that he lost his best friend when our father died when he was three, and I believe that he spent the next forty-six years longing for him. In a letter to me, he said, “I have a deep loneliness that will always be with me and places where no one will ever get to. It’s very hard growing up by yourself.” He was, in many ways, a self-made man. He went to school to learn to repair complicated laser systems and started his own successful business, Laser Technical Support. On weekends he was a soccer and gymnastics coach for Bethlehem Special Olympics. In spite of, or perhaps because of, his sensitivity and sadness, he read and wrote poetry and painted whenever he wasn’t working. I know that he would have loved and admired the work of Medicine Wheel, and I also know deep in my heart that he is proud of this honor given in his memory which will offer a helping hand to young adults who struggle just as he did.
Crafted with love by Linda Zug, Daniel’s sister
We are an artist founded and artist run organization. Supporting and collaborating with artists of all disciplines and maintaining the role of artists as facilitators in culture, is central to our work. We use the power of making art to triage critical needs of the communities we serve that are confronting addiction, immigration, systemic racism, police youth relationships, stewardship of our natural world, HIV/AIDS and/or human trafficking. Our work is to seek focus, fairness, and balance. Our goal is to continue to use art and the act of creating together to define a brave new normal and shape a shared future history where each of us has a voice, where each of us is included, where each of us is listened to, where each of us is loved