text: "From the desk of Kathy Hawkins" with image of woman leaning on fence near a field of sunflowers

From the Desk of Kathy Hawkins

As the TimeSlips community continues to grow, we’re introducing you to each of our team members and highlighting the work that benefits YOUR creative engagement. From managing myriad details of member requests, creating content for communications, to individual training and large-scale organizational partnerships, these are the faces behind the TimeSlips team. It’s our joy to get to know you, and for you to get to know us!

This week we would like to introduce you to Kathy Hawkins.

What’s your role at TimeSlips?  How long have you been with them?
I became a TimeSlips Certified Facilitator in 2003 and trained to be a trainer in 2004. Just as in life, my journey with TimeSlips has taken many roads and I’m thrilled with the path. I feel like I’m just getting started.

You’re also a musician. How does that complement your work with TimeSlips?
Oh gosh, that’s a great question! Music is storytelling, emotion, connection…it’s an essential life force, if I can be so bold. Our breath is lyrical, our heartbeats are rhythmic, our  voices have stories that need to be heard/sung. People feel invigorated with both and it changes how they view their limitations or possibilities.

I see so many parallels with music-making and storytelling: both (TimeSlips and music) lead you into a creative dialogue that teaches, informs, comforts and breathes life into everyone involved in the most beautiful way.

As Engagement Coordinator, you train many individuals and orgs that come to us. What was one of your favorite trainings so far?
Each training teaches me something and how I can better serve those who come to us at TimeSlips…but two stand out: as a new trainer (~2005), I was simultaneously building a large TimeSlips program at the continuous care hospital I was employed at, training people quarterly (both staff and from the community) while collaborating on multiple programs a week funded by a grant. I had a lot of hats to wear. 

A colleague I worked with emailed that their favorite day was our weekly TimeSlips collaborations with a community partner. Family members were also returning Press Ganey surveys (a standard in many hospitals to gauge satisfaction) with high marks on the “new” programming (TimeSlips). You can feel really small working in a large hospital doing creative arts/enrichment when you aren’t “reimbursable” and doing 5-7 hours of groups a day; seeing my efforts impact key points of the system were thrilling.

Later, I trained rostered artists and enrichment staff at six Veterans’ homes in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (2017-2020) after leaving the hospital position to concentrate on community-based program start-ups. Staff noted residents who attended that “never came to anything we offer” and several had a line outside prior to their groups. It was a reminder that my joy in advocating for those whose voices aren’t often acknowledged (youth, activities/allied health/artist professionals, nursing assistants, individuals with cognitive differences) was still needed and stronger than ever.

What is your recipe for the perfect summer day?
It begins or ends with water/sand/the outdoors and includes some homemade food. Mix in laughter, hanging out with people I adore (or meet that day) and sprinkle in heavy servings of music, any kind of art and animals! Serve often. 

Anything else you’d like to add? 
Embracing the concepts taught in TimeSlips has been transformative personally: I started to say, “Yes! And?” in my own life because I saw how it led to beautiful possibilities for everyone who experienced it. We often don’t listen to our own sense of wonder and want to try out of fear. This introverted, shy kid has been a recipe tester for Vegan blogger Angela Liddon, walked in two 60-day walks, shed almost 60 pounds and left a corporate job to work in the arts and healthcare. What would happen if you invited “Yes! And?” into your life?