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Arts & Life

How a jewelry-making class helped a Kalamazoo woman find hope after tragic losses

Creating Connection Michigan is a series of intimate, first-person stories about the power of art to change lives. This week, we hear from a Kalamazoo woman whose art-making helped her cope with tragic losses.

Dawn Bennett-Dailey’s grandfather taught at the Art Institute of Chicago, and instilled a love of art in his granddaughter. She says she's been involved in the arts since she was a young child. But when Bennett-Dailey lost her husband of 35 years in a car accident, and her brother to suicide soon after, she became so depressed that she stopped doing any kind of art. 

Then, a few of her friends bought her a class in beginning jewelry making at the Kalamazoo Institute of Art. That gift, Bennett-Dailey says, changed her life.  

“If I wasn't gifted that class, I think I'd still be really stuck. Creating helps you get on with things. And I know that everybody grieves differently but I think that I'm doing pretty good for what's happened. I'm in the right spot. This is where I should be." 

You can find a full transcript of this story here.

The Creating Connection Michigan series was produced by Elizabeth Meister and Dan Collison at Long Haul Productions and funded by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

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