NewsWaukesha Christmas Parade


Local art therapist helps Waukesha heal through comfort and joy ornament project

Posted at 6:47 PM, Dec 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-20 19:47:03-05

WAUKESHA, Wis. — In a city that's experienced such heartache, people living in Waukesha are looking to spread light and hope this holiday season with the help of art.

"If violence can spark violence, then peace can spark peace, and love can spark love. The streets were literally covered in blood and now I hope they can be covered in art, and love, and in healing," said art therapist ​Mira Alexandrea Newell.

Newell is taking what happened during the Waukesha Christmas parade tragedy and turning it into an opportunity for the community to heal through art therapy.

"I've always felt deeply connected to the process of what happens after. So after a tragedy, after a great pain. Truly it's a blank canvas it's up to us to create the world that we want to see," said Newell.

Which is why she started the comfort and joy project this holiday season where people can make a Christmas tree ornament and write a message on it, and then spread that message throughout the city.

"Each template makes two ornaments and (one) to be taken home and then one can be donated. They can write these messages on those ornaments and hang them on healing trees which are trees with bare branches that are in 13 of the businesses downtown around the downtown area," said Newell.

By doing this, Newell wishes that Waukesha can truly become a place of hope and healing. For those who'd like to create an ornament, you can pick up a template and instructions at Martha Merrell's book store in Waukesha from now until Dec. 31st. Printable templates are available here.

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