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Jul 31, 5:00 PM EDT

On Reducing Stigma Through Art

Join Megan Kee and artist, Shanina Dionna for a conversation on reducing mental health stigma through art.

Shanina Dionna is an Oahu, Hawaii born and Greater Philadelphia based visual & performance artist, mental health advocate and non-profit youth arts educator. Since 2011, her works have built a platform raising mental health awareness through the annual "Embryo" art exhibition series. Her personal mental health and wellness journey through diagnoses, hospitalization, therapy and creative healing help inform her artwork.


Her stride in cultivating social change through the arts is strengthened by growing relationships with the wellness community including the Department of Behavioral Health & Intellectual disAbility Services, a local chapter for the National Alliance on Mental Illness and BeWell Philly. In 2016, she helped found "ARTbuds Philly," a free youth visual arts program, where she integrates expressive arts therapy into the curriculum - currently housed at the Urban Art Gallery in West Philadelphia. She is a recipient of The Dean Collection 20 Grant presented by Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys (2018) and in March 2020, Philadelphia Magazine declared her the "Philly Artist [who is] Creating a Positive Space for Mental Health Conversations." Shanina Dionna currently serves as a guest lecturer for Temple University's Urban Affairs course and is in pursuit of an expressive arts therapy certification in Sonoma, California.



About Megan Kee

In 2016, Megan's brother died of an overdose. After years of her own struggles with mental health (bipolar and anxiety), she was faced with a choice —  either focus on what she had lost or focus on how much she gained through knowing him. This perspective shift changed everything.

In January 2017, she started experimenting with meditation, exercise, mindset practices, and healthy eating. These changes had an unbelievable impact on her quality of life and productivity. She wanted to share what she learned in hopes that it might help others. 

Coming from a fine art background, having worked in a commercial, institutional and non-profit capacity, she decided to use her skills and expertise to give back. In May 2018, she incorporated a non-profit called Twentytwenty Arts that raises awareness and visibility for mental health, homelessness, and addiction. She now advocates alongside her amazing community through artistic campaigns, conversations and collaborations.

About On Mental Health and Creativity

Combining the creative process and psychotherapy, art therapy facilitates self-exploration and understanding. Whether artists utilize their artistic practice as a form of therapy or use it to convey complex ideas about mental health, the mutually beneficial relationship between mental health and creativity is undeniable. In this series, we will explore how art can be beneficial as a medium of mental health expression, the impact it can have on yourself and others, and where to begin.

As Georgia O’Keefe once said, “Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing–and keeping the unknown always beyond you.” Arguably, how—and that—you create is more important than what you create. 

Hosted by Megan Kee, the Founder of Twentytwenty Arts, an organization producing art projects to raise awareness for mental health, homelessness and addiction, this series aims to explore the crucial role that art can play in reducing mental health stigma and allowing us to make the unknown known.

Original Series

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