Saharra L. Dixon, MA, CHES®
I am Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), Community-engaged Theatre Artist, Percussionist, and Arts in Health Practitioner from New Jersey, using theatre, arts-based inquiry, storytelling and other mixed-method approaches to health, wellness, and social justice. I am interested in art’s impact on health and health research, particularly for Black and Brown communities. I received my BS in Health Behavior Science from University of Delaware and MA in Educational Theatre from NYU Steinhardt.
The Dramatic Health Educator
In my freelance work as “The Dramatic Health Educator,” I curate interactive and educational arts-based health and social justice interventions, workshops, performances, and other programming. Some of this work includes theatrical projects such as The #StayHome Project and We’re Having a Party! I am particularly interested in using theatre and storytelling pedagogies in health to address Black maternal and child health, adolescent health, and intervention-based research. More so, I offer consulting services and health coaching when able. I enjoy sharing wellness related tips on my Instagram (@DramaticHealthEducator). I have presented at the North Atlantic Drama Therapy Association (NADTA) 40th annual conference and the National Organization for Arts in Health (NOAH) 4th annual conference.
I empower communities to creatively engage in their own learning process, putting stories and anecdotes at the forefront of my practice becaude we all have a story to tell. With this, I am adamant about upholding critical pedagogy in health education. I actively work to put the “public” back into “public health”, as I guide community members and students in their own change processes. I am skilled in exploring issues in Reproductive Justice, Maternal/Child Health, Adolescent Health, Minority Health, and Sexual Health.
I’m the Founder, Owner, Executive Director of Soul Circle LLC, a Women’s Arts & Health Collective working to creating brave spaces for women and Girls of Color to explore health and justice through art, performance, and storytelling. I believe the arts can break down barriers to health and healthcare, and I do this by offering cross-cultural, holistic, and positive approaches to self-liberation and wellness for the betterment of ourselves and our communities through Soul Circle.
I come from a family of artists. My father, Lamont Dixon, is a well-known spoken word artist in the Philadelphia poetry circuit. I began training as a performing artist at New Freedom Theater in Philadelphia, PA as a young girl. New Freedom Theater provided training rooted in the African-American tradition. There, I learned stage acting and dancing, discipline, and self-love and self-determination. I started learning hand percussions at a young age including congas and djembe. I later started to learn drum set. While not a trained painter or drawer, I love to engage in this art form as a form of self-care and discovery. I later trained in acting and performance with Lisbeth Bartlett, Nancy Smithner (NYU Steinhardt), Hassan El-Amin (UDel), Walter Dallas and Diane Leslie (New Freedom Theatre), and more! While my passions in theatre/acting have shifted, I love any opportunity to perform, both live or virtually. Follow my Instagram to see wha I’m getting into!
We turn to the arts in challenging times because they help us to heal, to share stories, to make meaning, and to drive collective action and social change.”University of Florida, Center for Arts in Medicine
“I meet people where they are“