Napa Valley Youth Perform Original Works About Mental Illness
In This Is My Brave, Inc.
Presented in Partnership With Napa Valley College Performing Arts
Napa Valley College (NVC) Performing Arts and This Is My Brave (TIMB) present “This Is My Brave” as part of the NVC Emergence Festival on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 2 p.m. at the college with a second performance in St. Helena the next day. The production will feature local youth ages 14-24 who live with mental health challenges or substance use disorders, telling their stories through spoken word, poetry, music, dance and more.
“This Is My Brave” was first produced in Napa Valley as a Leadership Napa Valley community project in 2017. This Is My Brave, Inc., the national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the stigma surrounding mental illness through storytelling; Napa Valley College Performing Arts’ Emergence Festival, an annual festival of original works by NVC students, faculty and staff; and the original producers of the show from Leadership Napa Valley have partnered to produce the 2020 show.
“I am overjoyed that Napa Valley College Performing Arts is partnering with This Is My Brave,” commented Jennifer King, artistic director at Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center. “We have been programming the Emergence Festival at NVC for the past two years, and this seemed like the perfect centerpiece for the 2020 festival. I’m especially excited that our Napa Valley College students are participating both behind the scenes and on stage. Personally, I am inspired to be working as one of the producers for this show.”
One in six American youth between the ages of 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year (National Institute of Mental Health), yet the topic continues to carry shame. “This Is My Brave” aims to end this stigma and silence by celebrating the stories of teens and young adults living successful lives with mental health and substance use challenges. Since its first show in 2014 in Arlington, VA, “This Is My Brave: The Show” has featured more than 800 people sharing their stories in 67 performances across the United States and Australia.
“We are excited to return to the Napa Valley with this new focus,” said Jennifer Marshall, TIMB executive director and co-founder. “For six years, ‘This Is My Brave’ has been shining a light on mental illness and the brave people who live and thrive with it all across the U.S. We recently launched high school and college programs, and I am so pleased to extend these efforts to the West Coast to help young people talk openly about mental health issues.”
The Napa Valley cast includes the first band to ever perform on the stage for “This Is My Brave.” The four-member band from Napa High School will perform an original song about anxiety. Chris Marks, a graduate of Chapman University with a BFA in dance performance, will perform an original dance piece about navigating his journey with depression and sharing that those who suffer from mental health challenges aren’t alone. Emily Long, a sophomore from American Canyon, will share a poem that reflects on her coming to terms with her mental illness and how far she has come in accepting and loving herself.
This Is My Brave: Napa Valley
Saturday, February 8, 2 – 4 p.m.
Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center
2277 Napa Vallejo Hwy, Napa, CA 94558
Sunday, February 9, 2 – 4 p.m.
St. Helena Performing Arts Center
465 Main Street, St. Helena, CA 94574
Tickets are on sale now: $20 general admission; $10 students. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit performingartsnapavalley.org/brave. *Due to some mature content and strong language, parental guidance is advised for children under 13.
“This Is My Brave” is presented by Napa Valley College Performing Arts with generous support from Adventist Health St. Helena, St. Joseph Health Queen of the Valley, Arts Council Napa Valley, American Medical Response, the Staglin Family and the St. Helena Performing Arts Center.
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ABOUT THIS IS MY BRAVE
This Is My Brave was co-founded in Virginia by Jennifer Marshall and Anne Marie Ames (1958-2017), two women passionate about ending the stigma surrounding mental illness, and saving lives through storytelling. In May of 2014, TIMB debuted its first ever live show in Arlington, Virginia at the Spectrum Theatre to a sold-out crowd of nearly 400. Over the past four years, the nonprofit organization has hosted performances across the United States and in Australia, including Greenville, SC; Valparaiso, IN (Chicagoland); Denver, CO; Iowa City, IA; Washington, DC; Baltimore, MD; Los Angeles, CA; Boston, MA; Lewiston, ME; Wheeling, WV; Boise, ID; New York, NY; and beyond. TIMB has been featured in The Washington Post and O, The Oprah Magazine, Stage-Directions Magazine, as well as many other publications. TIMB has been producing mental health storytelling productions for the past six years. For more information about This Is My Brave, visit thisismybrave.org or youtube.com/thisismybrave.
ABOUT NAPA VALLEY COLLEGE PERFORMING ARTS
Napa Valley College Performing Arts creates high quality instructional theater and music experiences on stage and in the classroom. Serving all segments of the community including transfer students, lifelong learners and college staff, students are offered the opportunity to learn from professional artists in a way that inspires a passion for the artistic process. Napa Valley College is committed to student success by creating nurturing and inclusive environments that promote self-discipline, positive self-esteem, critical thinking skills and teamwork. For more information, visit performingartsnapavalley.org or napavalley.edu.