We caught up to San Jose State University’s Dr. Ethel Pitts Walker and spoke with her regarding the recent murder of Melanie Ashley Dunn on and here’s what she had to say about it.
Skye : How did you feel when you heard about Melanie’s death?
Dr. Ethel Pitts Walker : Although I did not know Melanie Dunn, I am sorry to hear about her death. The death of anyone is a tragic loss; however, the premature death of a young person is doubly tragic. Unfortunately, she did not have an opportunity to live life to its fullest, and I’m sure those who knew her will miss the gifts she gave.
Skye: How do you feel the arts can help people recover from loss?
Dr. Ethel Pitts Walker : The arts can always serve as a healing tool as the function of the arts is to touch the human spirit. As entertaining as the arts can be, they can also bring emotional comfort to our spirit. When a love one dies, it is necessary for those who cared about the deceased to go through the grieving period. It is a natural part of life to feel pain and suffering, and with the help of our Lord, we use the grieving period to restore our spirit. The hole that is left from losing someone is never filled; however, we keep the memories of the person alive and the deceased person is always with us. We find a way to honor the memory of the deceased and are grateful that we who are alive had an opportunity to know the person and share in their wonderful life.
Skye : How do you think that the arts can be applied towards grief work?
Dr. Ethel Pitts Walker : We find a way to honor the memory of the deceased and are grateful that we who are alive had an opportunity to know the person and share in their wonderful life.
Skye : What do you think of Hip Hop? Would you ever use this medium in one of plays?
Dr. Ethel Pitts Walker : Hip Hop is like any other form of music and lifestyle. It has a place in the society. Some is good; some is bad. The music speaks to different people in the society, and if it touches the people involved, then the music serves its purpose. I would certainly use Hip Hop in one of my productions if I thought it helped tell the story.
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