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Mindful Growth: How one Cincinnati Nonprofit is Impacting Local and National Communities

Posted October 19, 2021 in Press Releases

Stacy Sims visits with students of Momentous Institute at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra to experience Mindful Music Moments. Photo courtesy of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

Stacy Sims, The Well Founder and Executive Director. Photo courtesy of Catherine Viox

True Body Project group with Empowering Youth Cambodia students in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 2020.

Marisniulkis Lescaille from San Francisco, CA joined our live event at The Mercantile Library to read her poem, which is included in our Mindful Poetry 2021 Book.

Media Release:
October 19, 2021

Contact:
Rowe Schnure, Associate Director, The Well
rowe@thewell.world
513-965-1741


ADDITIONAL PHOTOS AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD

Mindful Growth: How one Cincinnati Nonprofit is Impacting Local and National Communities

[Cincinnati, Ohio] In just two years since launching, The Well has grown exponentially to positively impact the well-being of individuals and communities locally, nationally, and internationally. A nonprofit organization focused on healing and wellness, The Well’s work currently reaches individuals from Cincinnati to California to Cambodia, with programs that have been recognized by PBS NewsHour and endorsed by the University of California, Berkeley’s Greater Good in Education program. Most recently, The Well’s Founder and Executive Director Stacy Sims was recognized as a 2021 Woman of the Year by the Cincinnati Enquirer. 

The Well’s largest program, Mindful Music Moments, started in 2016 in a single Cincinnati school with daily mindfulness prompts for students inspired by a piece of classical music playing over the morning announcements. Now, Mindful Music Moments reaches 205 schools and 87,000 PreK-12th grade students across the country with performing arts partners in Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Dallas, Pittsburgh, San Diego, and San Francisco. 

In 2020, The Well created Mindful Poetry Moments, a writing program for aspiring poets developed in collaboration with The On Being Project, founded by national radio host Krista Tippett. Mindful Poetry Moments celebrated National Poetry Month in both 2020 and 2021 by launching free,custom poetry playlists and hosting virtual gatherings of writers that reached 290 schools and 1,200 individuals. Those gatherings resulted in two collections of poetry published by The Well featuring writers from  Nigeria, Hungary, Germany, Greece, the U.K., and the U.S. 

The Well’s flagship program, the True Body Project, originally launched in 2005 as a program for teen girls that employed art, writing, movement, and other activities to deepen participants’ self-understanding and to teach them how to advocate for the wellness of self and others. The program now includes leadership training for individuals interested in bringing this trauma-informed, social-emotional, mind-body work to schools and organizations in their area. In 2020-21, The Well facilitated two of these virtual trainings with 30 participants from around the U.S., Brazil, and Canada.

Each of The Well’s programs centers on what it takes to be “well.” This includes: 1. Personal Work: taking time each day to reflect, restore, replenish. 2. Relational Work: learning to sit together, listen, connect, play and learn, and 3. Public Work: building capacity for community reconciliation and equally distributed wellness. 

“We are thrilled with our growth and we work diligently to make sure that the growth itself is leading us away from our core values,” said Sims, :which is one of the reasons we begin the week with an open-to-the-public Strategic Meditation Practice. This practice grounds our team and others who join us from as far away as Jakarta and London, as to what matters most before the busy work week begins.”

“The Well has supported my own personal growth by showing what it means to live out one’s values,” said Rowe Schnure, The Well’s associate director, “Setting aside time each week to check in, beyond just the tasks, and tend to my own creative projects has helped me show up with more intention and wholeness in all aspects of my life.”

Alongside The Well’s programmatic growth, its administrative team has rapidly expanded. In addition to Sims and Schnure, The Well’s staff includes Regina Menninger as Social Engagement Specialist, Bryce Kessler as Music Coordinator, Sarah Yeung as the current Wellspring Fellow, and Kara Pierson as a Mindfulness Educator at Imagine Bella Academy in Cleveland. Beyond the staff, The Well is supported by eleven trustees and dozens of partners, collaborators, and donors across the country. 

“The Well has benefitted from Stacy’s passion and ability to engage others in utilizing music and arts to connect people with one another, with their place, and to create healthier places in this way. As the daughter of symphony musicians, I’m thrilled to see young people learning that music can make you happier,” said Margy Waller, president of The Well’s board of trustees.

As The Well sets course for its third fiscal year, the organization hopes to continue finding and nourishing the potential to create a well world, together. 

About The Well

The award-winning programs of The Well, including Mindful Music Moments, Mindful Poetry Moments, City Silence, and True Body Project, combine aspects of mindfulness, arts, social-emotional learning, play, movement, and poetry into practices for regular use within schools, hospitals, and communities. The Well is highly collaborative and partners with world-class arts, social service, education, and health care providers to mindfully connect arts and healing content to those who need it most.