Death:OK (Let’s Talk About It) is a day of inspiration, information, and connection taking place October 17, 2015 on the campus of Reed College in Portland, Oregon. As part of an ongoing series profiling our presenters, we’re pleased to introduce you to…
Leslie Kimiko Ward, presenting “1000 Cranes: Healing through Creative Connectivity.”
In a remote Alaska Native village, teaching artist Leslie Kimiko Ward witnessed the drowning death of a young resident. To stave off feelings of helplessness and grief, she began folding origami cranes. Reaching out through social media, Leslie involved the village children in creating “senbazuru,” or folding 1000 origami cranes. What followed was a global wave of support, and the beginnings of The 1000 Crane Project, an arts-based, inspirational program designed to foster creativity and connection around death and dying.
Drawing on 20+ years of teaching experience, Leslie’s workshop combines movement and storytelling with engaging, hands-on activities to address themes of cultural awareness, grief support, suicide prevention, creativity, and hope. Participants will learn to fold an origami crane and be invited to participate in The 1000 Cranes Project traveling memorial.
Leslie Kimiko Ward is a teaching artist and shepherd, living between Alaska and Oregon. She has presented The 1000 Crane Project in many forms, including a monologue, one-woman show, and performance for Alaska’s governor. She is currently editing a memoir based on the story, funded in part by a grant from the Alaska Humanities Forum. Leslie is a regular volunteer with youth bereavement Camp Erin, PDX Death Cafe, and has given the keynote address at Alaska’s statewide memorial service. She is thrilled to be bringing the work to Death:OK.