Interview with Lois Holzman “Making a Conceptual Revolution”

The East Side Institute invites you to a special Making a Conceptual Revolution conversation on FRIDAY, MARCH 17 when Institute director Lois Holzman’s guest will be Hector Aristizábal, a pioneering artist, activist and psychologist who founded ImaginAction to help people tap the transformative power of theatre in programs throughout the US, Latin America, Europe and around the world. The evening is free for invited guests.

Born and raised in Medellín, Colombia, Hector worked his way out of poverty to become a theatre artist and psychologist, then survived civil war, arrest and torture at the hands of the US-supported military. After being forced to leave his native Colombia, Hector arrived in the U.S. in 1989, where he has combined his training in psychology and the arts with lessons gained from life experience in his therapeutic work with torture and trauma survivors, incarcerated youth, immigrant families, and people affected by HIV/AIDS.

Through experiential workshops, theater performances and other creative events, ImaginAction invites participants to explore embodied knowledge, challenge the inevitability of violence, and use their imaginations for a more just and joyous life for all people and is co-author of The Blessing Next to the Wound: A Story of Art, Activism, and Transformation.

With this series, Lois Holzman speaks with a multi-disciplinary array of visionaries whose work is transformational of their fields. Her guests are historic trailblazers who have shaped new areas of study or practice, and those who are building on these efforts and breaking new ground. Her conversational partners have included famed humanistic and transpersonal psychologist Stan Krippner, cultural-historical researcher and teacher educator Peter Smagorinsky, process drama founder and internationally recognized scholar in drama and education Cecily O’Neill and the founder of creativity coaching and natural psychology Eric Maisel.

Here is Lois on why she is eager to speak with Hector.

I stumbled upon Hector ’s
The Blessing Next to the Wound: A Story of Art, Activism, and Transformation in 2010. I was deeply moved by his life and sensibilities and contacted him to tell him so in the hopes of getting to know the man I had just read about. (and highly recommended the book in one of my earliest blog posts). In the years since our first conversation, I’ve seen Hector in action as performer of his stirring one-man show and as a skilled workshop leader, and I treasure the friendship we have developed based on our shared belief in the transformative power of performance. I so look forward to us continuing the conversation!

The conversation will take place on Friday, March 17, 6:30-8:00pm at the Institute, 119 West 23rd Street, Suite 902 (between 6th and 7th Avenues). Seating is limited so if you can join us, RSVP to


P.S. For more information on the Institute, visit