Interview with Dancer, Journalist, Advocate Carrie Seidman
8-22-17 Passionate, talented and courageous Carrie Seidman is a dancer, a journalist, a cancer survivor, and parent of child with mental health issues. She discovered her passion for dance at three years old while watching her older sisters do what she was “too young “to do. Although assured that she could not begin to study until she was five Carrie managed to bully her teacher into letting her begin at “almost five.” And that tenacity is the hallmark of her life. Soft spoken and basically shy Carrie has a will of iron. She has survived everything life has thrown at her and emerged not only victorious over her own and her son’s challenges, but as an advocate for others who are facing those challenges. A graduate of Columbia University’s School of Journalism, Carrie has been a journalist for 35 years: a full time staff writer for the New York Times, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, Albuquerque Journal and Albuquerque Tribune, she currently writes features, critiques and long form projects for Sarasota Herald-Tribune where she specializes in the arts and mental health. Motivated by the difficult and painful experience of her son’s descent into mental illness, Carrie created a series called, “The S Word: The Stigma of Schizophrenia” for which she received the national Mental Health America Media Award, and became one of only 9 American journalists to be a fellow of the prestigious 2016-2017 Carter Center for Mental Health Journalism. She has won awards from state and national journalism organizations, including the Gold Medal for Public Service from the Florida Society of News Editors in 2015. Carrie turned the project into a book called FACEing Mental Illness: The Art of Acceptance a collection of the stories and artwork produced for her ongoing fellowship project of the same name, which is aimed at changing cultural attitudes about mental illness and eliminating the stigma of a mental health diagnosis. The book will be launched on Friday, September 1st at 6:00 pm at BOOKSTORE1 SARASOTA Listen to this remarkable woman tell the story of her life and come to Bookstore1 to see her, purchase a copy of the book, and support this important mission.