Sheila K. Collins believes that life’s toughest challenges call us out to discover our better selves. In facing such challenges as grief, loss, illness, death of a loved one, or large scale losses such as fires, floods, and pandemics, we become who we truly are. Her writing, keynote speaking, and improvisational artist performances, contain thought-provoking discoveries of ways to deal with the tough challenges life asks of us so that we become stronger and more resilient from having met them.
Her award-winning book, Warrior Mother: Fierce Love, Unbearable Loss and the Rituals that Heal tells of her journeys with two of her three adult children and her best friend through their life-threatening illnesses and deaths and of the rituals that helped her family to heal. Using her background as a social work professor, therapist, and performance artist, Dr. Collins demonstrates in her presentations, workshops, and writing how art-based tools have helped her and can help others get through life’s toughest challenges.
Sheila currently directs the Wing & A Prayer Pittsburgh Players, an InterPlay-based improvisational performance troupe whose mission is to assist arts and human service organizations in achieving their noble purposes. In collaboration with community nonprofits, the group has developed programs and performances to address such tough topics as ending the stigma of mental illness, changing the race dance, and saying No More to gender violence. She travels nationally and internationally assisting individuals and organizations to tell their stories in trans-forming ways. Her blog Dancing With Everything is on her website https://sheilakcollins.com/