Stories from the brainreels: Guest Bittin Foster Duggan

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Ever met someone, and it kinda feels like you’ve met them before? You look at each other and just sense that you could skip the “how are you?” and “nice weather, huh?” and get right to the heart of it. That’s what it felt like for the 20 seconds I got to spend with Bittin Foster Duggan at the Pacific Northwest Brain Injury Conference this March. I was just running by one place when someone told me to go introduce myself to her. So I ran in the opposite direction, said hello, hugged her, mentioned that I’m pretty sure I’d emailed her to tell her about this film and ran out. And so began a lovely relationship.

Bittin is a person of extreme patience. She wasn’t at all fazed by my running around antics. She gave me a couple hours the other day to catch me up on her work and the journey she’s actively been on for around 25 years since her severe TBI. She is both spiritual and down to earth, acknowledging the roles that family support, access to resources, and a sense of purpose in a larger picture all have to do with how she is thriving today. Her passion is rooted in working with others to open themselves to thriving through reflective group art workshops at Growing Through It.

To get yourself warmed up on Bittin and her work before the interview, check out these two great spots:

Click here for an article and video on KCBY news online. You can see Bittin and watch some of her art workshop participants with brain injury making a collaborative, heartfelt art piece in her Growing Through It workshops.

Click here for an ethereal, dynamic podcast of Bittin on the Collective Arts Ink blog. There’s music behind her voice. And if it works well for you (and you have the internet speed), you can listen to the podcast and see a slideshow of Bittin’s work and Growing Through It workshops in the video below.

I hope you’ll listen in as Bittin and I have a conversation about self-awareness, artistic expression, and how the arts can provide that space for emotional healing and community building that sometimes rehab in a clinic just can’t.

Tune in Friday, June 6th at 1:00 pm Pacific time and anytime after that.

Click here for an accessible transcript of podcast episode #021.