Hello there, I’m Donna Gentile — artist, designer, musician, patriot, light worker, activist, the mother of magickal miss Kira (a young adult now) and the founder of Community Mandala Project.
When I’m not making art, creating handmade items for my Store, painting hubcaps or designing for creator-minded folks, I offer therapeutic art and live music experiences that combine wisdom teachings from nature and around the world with meditative practices to empower, uplift and inspire connection and personal growth.
In short, I’m passionate about empowerment and providing experiences to help us Remember who we are (divine beings connected to Source) and what our Souls contracted to do here.
Music and mandala art came to me during the trauma of domestic violence, and helped me heal. It helped me process difficult emotions (like shame and blame), move past limiting beliefs, take back my power and move on to live a full life, free from abuse and control.
That’s not to say it was easy. Not in the least. And that’s not to say it’s over. It takes continued work, commitment and regular practice on my part to maintain a healthy mind, body and spirit.
Domestic violence is part of my past story, but it doesn’t define me. And it derailed my life for many years and robbed my daughter and me of health, time, resources, money, jobs and other opportunities.
But it didn’t break my spirit (or hers).
On the contrary, it has been a teacher and brought many gifts including fortitude, resilience, determination, courage, strength, hope, gratitude, connection, new friends, compassion, stories and songs. It informs my work and advances personal growth. It introduces me to opportunities to meet people who I never would have met otherwise… people like you!
My lived experience is how I came to understand the healing benefits of art and music. It is where my “Art heals. Music is medicine©” mantra comes from, which encapsulates the healing journey (for me at least, but maybe for you too)!
In 2004, I began teaching Mandala Art Workshops for healing and empowerment at incredible organizations and groups in CT and around New England (See Client List). In 2006, music began pouring out of me, and in 2009, I began singing, playing guitar and telling stories of triumph.
It is not easy to share my stories. In fact, it’s really difficult because being vulnerable and trusting others is one of the hardest things for me to do. But I do it because somehow, it makes all of the suffering make sense. If I can inspire another person, or help them (or you) see a way through the chaos and pain the abuser causes… if I can EMPOWER another person? That is gold.
When I tell my story (don’t worry, I focus on the positive and not any triggering details), whether it is through speaking, art or music, my goal is to comfort and uplift, but also to inspire people to share their stories and connect to their inner power. I have learned that when I am silent, nobody benefits, but when I speak up, people are profoundly impacted.
This is what keeps me doing this work.
I am so passionate about empowerment. Some of the most effective ways I have found to empower myself (besides through original music) is through creative expression, meditation and mindfulness activities such as coloring mandalas, creating mandalas and zentangling.
If you’re looking to connect your community or group with a strong female speaker, teaching artist and/or storytelling musician, please Contact Me to discuss your needs and booking.