a 501(c)3 non-profit org.
Yes, And...eXercise Festival in your city!
We were all in at UT Austin, spectacular in San Jose and now look forward to bringing the a spectacular day of community, creativity and fun to you! We will demonstrate the fun and practical health benefits of improvisation and storytelling. We will have a screening of the PD-themed documentary, Boys of Summer: Short Stop. There is no charge for this event. You may attend virtually or in person by clicking one of the two buttons below. We'll close with a performance by ComedySportz San Jose. All are welcome - all presentations are all-ages appropriate. A ticket is required for the ComedySportz event.
These evidence-based programs, developed in PhD clinical trials, have been shown to increase creativity, communication, and confidence. They address the well-known but drastically underserved cognitive and psychosocial needs within the PD community.
We will also be hosting a silent auction during the festival featuring art created by people with PD. Click here to see the gallery! It is a well known but non-understood phenomena that some people with PD develop the ability to create stunning art after they are diagnosed.
Article: The Art effect on the artist with PD
Article: The artistic spark
Article: A dramatic change with PD
About one of our artists: Jaki
Self portrait - Jaki
Her parents named her Paula, her girlfriends nicknamed her Jaki, and those names carried her through most of her life. For the last 12 years, the name Parkinson's became part of her reality, although she has always been more than that diagnosis. None of that stopped her from being an active and loving wife, mother, and grandmother. Despite living with a bunch of Parkinson's symptoms every day, it was the night-time wakefulness which was the hardest. When she learned about deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery, she made a decision which turned out to be a life-changing event for her in many ways. In addition to calming the majority of her Parkinson's symptoms, she experienced an explosion of unprecedented creativity during her nighttime wakefulness. To her amazement, when she awakened at three in the morning, she felt the need to start painting ... and she hasn't been able to stop! Her impressionistic paintings express joy, love of family, boundless play and the beauty and majesty of nature.
Having witnessed a Yes, And...eXercise! my wife participated in, I can attest to how this exercise leads to a more positive take on life … and would lead undoubtedly to higher Quality of Life scoring.
John A. Scarlett, MD
The individuals who participated said they just had such fun doing this. And, boy, laughter is such good medicine. The research is pretty clear: maintaining social connections and reducing isolation has a dramatic effect on quality of life.
Polly Dawkins, Executive Director Davis Phinney Foundation
The exercises fire off parts of my brain that otherwise would be dark and silent, and maybe even beginning to atrophy. I’m not very good at the improv exercises, but I sure feel accepted and happier each time I participate.
John Rhett, Person with Parkinson's
MISSION: We provide a safe, fun and kind place for people with, affected by, and serving the Parkinson’s disease to connect, empower and enhance their lives through improvisation and storytelling.
VISION: To become the world’s most used and joyful improvisation and storytelling program.
Improv for all!
"But improv is not for me." Maybe you've seen improv as a performance and thought it was only for the brilliant few. We hear your fear and say follow it..or F it. Whatever works. Just don't let it eat you.
We believe in the power of play. And we absolutely believe play is for everyone. We are born knowing how to play and, as we age, tend to forget its effect because we stop doing it. YAX is that missing playground. It is a safe space to become whoever you want, wherever you want, and whenever you want.
How? Massive, unbridled amounts of Yes, And. Come try a Jam for Joy drop in session to see what we're YAXing about.