About Community Mandala Project
Community Mandala Project (CMP) is an initiative offering Mandala and other Meditative Art Workshops to inspire, empower, strengthen and transform people, relationships, businesses and communities for a sustainable future.
“The country is so wounded, bleeding, and hurt right now. The country needs to be healed—it’s not going to be healed from the top, politically. How are we going to heal? Art is the healing force.” — Robert Redford, National Arts Policy Roundtable 2012
CMP’s mission is to heal humanity and the Earth one person at a time.
About the Workshops
Community Mandala Project’s meditative art workshops combine the ancient art of the mandala with inspiration from nature, sacred geometry and wisdom teachings from around the world to help people [re]discover connections to self, others and the natural world.
Workshops invite participants to take a journey inward to the center of self, and create an expression outward from the soul.
When painting a mandala, the act of creating repeating patterns of balance and harmony around a unified center causes the mind, body and spirit to relax, and a sense of calmness and restoration to wholeness is often experienced.
The process of making a mandala is a fun and empowering one. The journey presents opportunities to overcome perceived limitations, move through pain, celebrate one’s authentic self, let go of old stories, and tell new stories of strength, resilience, triumph, joy and healing.
Mandala, zentangle & meditative coloring workshops help you relax, focus, restore, rejuvenate and manifest the changes you desire in life! They can simply be fun and whimsical, or you can go deep and work on personal growth. It’s up to each individual! You’ll set an intention for your art, access creativity and use the power of your stories while developing resilience, empathy and connection to self, others and nature.
This process can be empowering and profound. It can inspire change, boost confidence, improve self-esteem, increase self-love, provide self-care, build cooperation in teams, help you overcome obstacles, lift you naturally from depression, calm anxiety, ease loneliness, get you unstuck from anger and even aid in healing and recovery (addiction, domestic violence, illness, pain, loss or other trauma). The applications are endless!
Workshops are themed based on your needs, tailored to your group and taught by Donna Gentile, a seasoned artist, designer and arts provider who has been developing and teaching art workshops since 2002.
Community Mandala Project was founded in 2004 by Donna Gentile after The Bushnell of Hartford hired her to design and teach a community-themed workshop for second graders at Plainville Schools in Connecticut, USA as part of their PARTNERS art enrichment program.
The Bushnell was seeking to replace an old lifeless program with one of depth. Gentile researched “community” and found connections to the circle shape and the ancient art of Mandala-making for meditation and healing.
She designed the “Community Mandala Collage,” which combines a mixture of art techniques and media with various ways for people to explore, celebrate and honor connections to their community. With all of the bright color papers to choose from, photo collages, crayon scratch-art, diversity of fonts for the “who” and “what” makes up community words (which are customized), and white opaque paint, the results are rich and illustrate the colorful diversity found in homes, schools, neighborhoods, towns, cities and beyond.
Gentile taught the workshop for several years each spring at Plainville schools and learned that it wasn’t just for the second graders. Teachers and volunteers were asking if they could create a mandala too!
The experience was so positive that it inspired Donna to design a spin-off workshop for a domestic violence recovery group, and the “THIVER Mandala Collage Workshop” was born! Soon after that, Gentile introduced watercolors and she has been designing new workshops and teaching them in Connecticut and around New England ever since.
About the Facilitator
Donna Gentile is an artist, designer, educator, community builder and the founder of Community Mandala Project. She has taught therapeutic art workshops since 2004 at incredible organizations and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design. Meditative art helped Donna heal and strengthen resilience after trauma. Lived experience feeds her passion to build community, inspire connection, and empower others to tell their stories of triumph and open to the many benefits of expressive art. More about Donna