LEARN

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ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION

Erasing the Distance is a non-profit arts organization based in Chicago that uses the power of performance to disarm stigma, educate, spark dialogue, and promote healing surrounding mental health. Since 2005 the organization has been dedicated to creating a space for real people to share stories about their experiences navigating mental health. Through workshops, performances, and facilitated conversations, Erasing the Distance strives to generate insight and compassion, while helping people realize they are not alone. 

MISSION

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"

VALUES

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COMPASSION
for others and for ourselves.

COMMUNICATION
dedicated to openness, vulnerability, and kindness.

ACCESSIBILITY
to ensure healing stories reach as many people as possible.

INCLUSIVITY
equality and mutual respect for every individual's experience.

CURIOSITY
about the world around us and the experiences, we haven't lived.

THE STIGMA IS DEADLIER THAN THE SYMPTOMS

55.5MILLION

U.S adults live with a mental illness

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1/5 ADULTS

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THE STIGMA IS DEADLIER THAN THE SYMPTOMS

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TEAM

Erasing the Distance is a non-profit arts organization based in Chicago that uses the power of performance to disarm stigma, educate, spark dialogue, and promote healing surrounding mental health. 
 

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Heather Bodie
Executive Artistic Director
 

Heather Bodie
Executive Artistic Director
 

Heather Bodie
Executive Artistic Director
 

Heather Bodie
Executive Artistic Director
 

BOARD

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OUR BOARD

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Sara Sarkey
President
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Evelyn Joy Coker
Vice President
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Richard Pless
Treasurer
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Judith Bradford
Secretary
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Charlie Stoops
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Kimberly J. Dean

OUR FOUNDER

Brighid O'Shaughnessy

Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus

Since 2005, Brighid has utilized theatrical performances about mental health issues to educate and disarm stigma.  A sought after speaker and workshop leader, she has presented at many events including the Active Minds National Conference, University of Illinois Chicago, and taught a 5-month workshop at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. 

 

Brighid was granted DePaul University's prestigious David O. Justice Award for her use of theatre to educate communities about mental illness in non-traditional and creative ways and was also chosen by Extra Mile America as one of 200 heroic leaders in the United States making a difference in their communities. Her experience as a director, actor and teacher committed to social change has spanned 20 years, including time directing the Thresholds Theatre Arts Project and devising original productions with teens in Chicago Public Schools. 

 

She graduated with a Masters of Arts from DePaul University, a B.A. in Theatre from Santa Clara University, studied extensively with The American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and trained with internationally known activist and artist Michael Rohd.

 

Brighid is a mental health educator with NAMI and is certified in Mental Health First Aid.

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