Mental Fitness Inc., a Spartanburg nonprofit, announces the opening of NOURISH at Chapman Cultural Center. The agency develops innovative creative- and performing-arts programs that build resilience. On Friday, Oct. 3, 6-8 p.m. NOURISH will have its grand opening celebration for families to stop by and learn about the array of programs available for kids, teens, young adults, and adults.
Mental Fitness Founder and CEO Robyn Hussa Ferrell initially designed NOURISH as part of a larger project, highlighting the importance of the arts in human development. NOURISH asks the question: “What are the ways to nourish our bodies and minds through the arts,” and for almost eight years Hussa has engaged teams of medical researchers to design techniques that have been shown to improve stress-management, attention, concentration, awareness, self-acceptance, body image, mindfulness, healthy coping skills, and other protective factors known to improve overall health and mental fitness. With her background in professional New York theatre and, recently, tech innovation at Spartanburg’s Iron Yard digital health accelerator program, Hussa collaborates with experts in psychology and education to create new and innovative techniques that build resilience.
Classes will begin in October and will include collaborations with The Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg and local artists. Class schedules will be available at www.NourishSpartanburg.com. Stop by the new office in Chapman Cultural Center in the space formerly known as The Green Room to learn more.
Mental Fitness Inc. is a national nonprofit that educates about mental health, eating disorders, body image, and stress-management through award-winning arts and media programs. Its goal is to build mental fitness in youth. Founded by award-winning New York producer and performer Hussa, Mental Fitness Inc. integrates the arts with medicine, nutrition, and wellness to implement an array of evidence-based programs in schools and universities worldwide. Learn more at www.MentalFitnessInc.org.
Hussa, MFA, E-RYT, is an award-winning New York producer, performer and educator. For seven years, she has been creating and producing evidence-based live events, resources, theatre and film programs for Mental Fitness Inc. For her work creating the Mental Fitness Inc. programs and initiatives, Hussa received the 2010 Champion in Women’s Health award from Wisconsin First Lady Ms. Sue Ann Thompson and the 2014 Peace Award from the Converse College Marriage and Family Therapy program.
Hussa is also an award-winning producer of theatre and film. She and her husband are currently collaborating to produce The Walking Hospital documentary film project that focuses on a team of alternative healthcare providers who travel to remote regions of the world to deliver free service (www.TheWalkingHospital.com). In 2012, Hussa was invited to produce the 2012 adaptation of The Peer Gynt Project (I, Peer), featured in the 2012 Ibsen Festival in Oslo, Norway. For this project, she served as movement consultant for the wheelchair-using actor playing the title role. She and her husband are currently co-directing the new documentary film about weight bias and stigma and the “mental fitness” side of the obesity issue: www.beneaththefloorboards.org.
Prior to her work with Mental Fitness Inc., Hussa was Co-Founder and Founding Executive Director of the award-winning New York theatre company, Transport Group, winner of the 2007 Drama Desk award for the company’s breadth of vision and challenging productions. Since its inception, Transport Group has received more than 50 Drama Desk, Obie, and other prestigious awards and nominations in New York City theatre.
Hussa holds an MFA-Acting from the University of Virginia, is a member of the professional acting unions (AEA, AFTRA/SAG), the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED), The International Association for Eating Disorders Professionals (IAEDP), Women In Film and Television (NYWIFT), and is an E-RYT Certified Yoga Teacher with the Yoga Alliance. In addition, Hussa was invited to be one of 20 national leaders to serve on an advisory task force for the Let’s Move program in Washington, DC.