After a dozen years connecting with young minds at music festivals and through social media, To Write Love On Her Arms — the name and organization were inspired by an Orlando teen who was suffering from depression, drug addiction and self-inflicted cutting — is still looking for new ways to reach people.
On Tuesday, founder Jamie Tworkowski and To Write Love will stop at the Attic in Ybor City to launch a short club tour featuring slam poet Sierra DeMulder and musician JP Saxe (click here for details). Unlike the large concerts and college lecture halls where Tworkowski, 38, is used to speaking, the intimate events are meant to be "a trial run for us," he said. "If it goes well in the Southeast, we could do it in other places."
The timing might be just right. The issues that impact the Melbourne-based charity pop up in the news almost every day, from mental health to drug addiction to self-harm and violence. Whether it's a celebrity suicide like Anthony Bourdain or Kate Spade, or a mass shooting in Orlando, Parkland or Jacksonville, Tworkowski is out there trying to make sure message of hope don't get lost in the noise.
"We all relate to pain," he said. "Even if you don't struggle with depression or an eating disorder or anxiety or addiction, we all relate to grief and sadness and the reality that life is hard a lot of the time. We're just trying to invite people into the idea of, What if we didn't fake it? What if we realized we could speak openly about how we're feeling?"
For more of our interview with Jamie Tworkowski, click here.