Tara Rynders is a dancer, choreographer and video artist based in Denver, CO. She is also a full-time registered nurse with over 15 years of experience. She combined her passions for dance and for compassionate care by creating The Clinic, an organization that through immersive artistic experiences combats compassion fatigue and professional burnout among nurses and fosters stronger connections between nurses, patients and communities.
Among the projects Tara has developed through The Clinic are movement-and-art group workshops designed specifically for nurses experiencing burnout and “Resiliency Moments,” one-on-one virtual and intimate interactions between individual artists and healthcare workers in which art is made and grief and trauma begin to be healed.
Both the medical and artistic worlds have recognized Tara’s work. She received the highest level of nursing recognition in Colorado when in 2019 she was awarded the Nightingale Luminary Award, and she has received numerous arts grants, including a Blade of Grass Fellowship, to support her work melding the arts with science.
In this interview with Pier Carlo Talenti, Tara delves into how her experiences caring and being cared for in a hospital informed the creation of The Clinic and explains how more moments of back-and-forth empathy between artists and scientists could lead to substantial changes in the healthcare industry and beyond.