Bonnie Pitman initiated her Something New™ Practice on July 8, 2011. This daily practice of doing Something New invites the exploration of an ordinary day and making it extraordinary. This simple practice has guided her celebration of life and living with her chronic illnesses over the past years.
July 8, 2011 was two and one half years after being diagnosed with a respiratory infection she learned that a recent biopsy confirmed the infection was still active and growing. She continues to battle the infection and other chronic illnesses since becoming ill during the spring of 2008. In 2012 she started workshops and lectures on Do Something New™ to support groups for patients and caregivers dealing with chronic illness.
The Do Something New Practice helps with the simple interactions of the day giving a focus for being grateful, creative and mindful. Some of the reasons Bonnie continues to do this practice include
Celebration of big and little things that are in the world around me
Connections to people, places and creating new memories
Creativity is in all of us and there are countless ways to express it
Recovery takes time and is the real work of a person recovering from illness
Renewal of the body, mind, and spirit are critical to the healing process
Resilience is the ability to recover from the difficulties of healing and life and to find ways to be strong, enthusiastic and engaged with life
Bonnie joined The University of Texas at Dallas as Distinguished Scholar in Residence and Co-Director of the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Museums in 2012. Her work focuses on developing interdisciplinary research and program relationships between UTD and cultural and health institutions. She is researching and developing new programs in art and healing for patients and caregivers with chronic illnesses with Baylor Health Care Systems, UT Southwestern Medical Center, the Dallas Museum of Art and Crow Museum of Asian Art.
Bonnie is a nationally recognized leader in the museum community. She is teaching a course on the “Art of Observation” with UT Southwestern medical students to enhance the students’ core clinical skills through observation, visual inspection, verbal communication and description using works of art.
She spent 13 years as Director and Deputy Director of the Dallas Museum of Art and championed the transformation of Museum’s artistic programs and engagement with its community. She has been an educator, administrator and curator at the University of California’s Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archives, Seattle Art Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art, Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Bay Area Discovery Museum.
She lives in Dallas, Texas.