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grees, and heard about the opportunity to teach through professors or counselors at the various colleges.
Program director Meg Strader started working for Circle of Friends in January 2011. Strader is a psychology and English major at the University of Washington who plans on earning a master’s degree in social work.
Strader said she wants to get students more involved with writing group dialogues, with each student writing a page and performing their work. She also wants to collaborate with professional improvisational groups in Seattle, once there is a larger drama group from Circle of Friends.
Strader, along with writing class facilitator Matthew Summers Smith and founder Carolyn Hale, performed with drama student Kareem Khaliq at an Arts Crush event in Queen Anne.
John Morris opened the event with several guitar pieces, while artist Michael Morris (no relation) drew fig-ure drawings. Playwright Tracy Vicory Rosenquest debuted her 45-minute play “Shark,” which she wrote as a result of her studies about mental illness through the Circle of Friends.
Hale said that there have been other art and photography exhibits at various coffee shops throughout the city, with some of the pieces being sold.
Upcoming events for Circle of Friends include the Stampede Against Stigma marathon in June 2013. Hale said that the race will include relays where each group shouts out a slogan that combats stigma, such as “Make a friend, not a label,” while carrying the Olympic “torch” — a brain that is dressed with eyes, nose and ears. The race will begin in Seattle and end in Spokane.
At present, Hale said Circle of Friends is looking for catchy slogans that can be used in the relay race. Anti-stigma slogans will then be voted for on-line, and the most popular ones used by the relay groups will garner prizes.
For more information about Circle of Friends, call (206) 525-0648 or visit the website at www.cofmentalhealth.org.