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Below is an Open Letter to Dr. Rich Melheim

Dear Dr. Rich Melheim


We are Art and Tolerance, a 501C3 nonprofit, and our mission statement is to promote peace and tolerance in the world through the Arts. We are looking for a way to partner with your organization. We became aware of your work through Pastor LaVinnia Pierson, Los Altos Lutheran Church, Los Altos, California, who was familiar with your work and has participated in your workshops. 


We are interested in using Brain-Based learning on Arts-Based Platforms and combine it with the Psychological Flexibility that is available through ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) In one system we open up the pathways to effective learning, and in the other system we teach ways to manage the workings of the mind and uplift our core values that affect how the world operates.


Our goal is to affect and influence our children now, so they will become our future leaders who create a global planet with greater peace and tolerance for our future. 

How people work, act and perform in the world correlates to how situations occur to them. It is like seeing the world through tinted sunglasses. If you see the world with scary tinted sunglasses then your interpretation of what is happening, or how the world occurs to you has a "scary quality" to it. This would be your core belief about yourself and the world. Helping children, discover their core beliefs and accepting or rewriting them will give these children a powerful tool for shaping their lives and their societies. Children are our future and providing them with tools to learn how to think in a different way will improve the future for everyone.  We can accomplish this by using "brain-based learning on art based platforms" and ACT(Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) to develop “psychological flexibility.” 


In ACT, you define your values. You describe your challenges. You identify and describe negative coping strategies. You determine the actions you will take to resolve those challenges by using your values as a compass and guide.



Dr. Steven Hayes, the creator of ACT, sums the importance of ACT in a 2005 interview:

“ACT… grew out of my own experience with panic disorder and treating other clients with anxiety problems. I’d been trained as a cognitive behavioral therapist. But when I realized that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) wasn’t helping me deal with my own problems with anxiety, I returned to some of the more Eastern ideas that had appealed to me earlier in my life. If you either avoid something or fight and argue with it, you give it power. Instead, I began to see how to apply meditative and mindfulness practices to my anxious thoughts and feelings about myself. I added the idea of examining a person’s deepest values as a guide to determining the direction of change. It’s not enough to focus on what you don’t want to experience. If I don’t focus on my symptoms, what do I want to be doing with my life? That’s where the role of commitment came into ACT.”



We teach children how to read, write and do mathematics, but we do not teach them how to handle the constant self-talk they experience in a constructive way. I would like to develop a workshop that introduces the idea of "self-talk" and creating personal "value-based goals" in a Brain-Based Learning way on an Art-Based Learning Platform. 


We are in the planning stage. These ideas and workshops could apply to adults as well as children. We were interested in knowing if your organization would like to work together with us. Do you have any ideas on how this might be done? We hope we can open a conversation between us. We look forward to hearing from you or a member of your staff.

With Regards for a peaceful and more tolerant world,

Joyce Steinfeld


Here are some of the books we would like to acknowledge in the development of the above ideas:

Rich Learning • Brain-based Learning on Art-Based Platforms •

The three laws of performance by Steve Zaffron & Dave Logan • on Amazon

The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander • on Amazon

The Confidence Gap • A Guide to Overcoming Fear and Self Doubt by Russ Harris • on Amazon

The Illustrated Happiness Trap • How to stop struggling and start living by Russ Harris • on Amazon

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