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Understanding the human condition through one embodied experience at a time.

Embodied Empathy is a collaboration between Jill B. Ware and John Henry Blatter. Their research explores empathic concern, bias and movement experiences in order to strengthen medical education and to benefit the medical community. In 2017, they became essential research partners with the international virtual reality team, BeAnotherLabs. The collaborative team has been awarded research funding through the VCUarts Inclusion Infusion Grant, the VCUarts Exploratory Research Grant, the VCUarts Faculty Inclusion Grant, and the Presidential Research Quest Fund. Current collaborative medical partners include: Dr. John Nestler, a controlled study looking at the effects of experiencing gerontology patients on first year medical students; Dr. Scott Vota and Dr. Kathleen Pearson, a project working with ALS patients and dancers from VCU Dance; and Dr. Courtney Holmes on a collaboration between arts students and behavioral counseling grad students. In addition to the medical work, Jill and John have recently had their EVR experience Wooded Dance exhibited at UrbanGlass in Brooklyn, NY. 


Jill Brammer Ware is a movement artist and embodiment virtual reality researcher at VCUarts. Jill has a productive history with the VCUarts Dance and Choreography Department as a teacher of improvisation, and other dance forms, and a long engagement as an Artistic Associate with Amaranth Arts, a contemporary dance company that tours both nationally and internationally. She was a 2017/2018 faculty fellow for the Center for Teaching Excellence for her work with RVArts Cultural Passport, and the creator of the daily drawing project, 125 Images. Jill’s research practice is positioned in formal structures, exploratory movement, embodiment, and performance. Jill holds a BFA in dance performance from SUNY Purchase and an MFA in dance from George Mason University.


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John Henry Blatter is an installation artist and researcher, who has been exploring the themes of identity, body and self. Currently he is working with hemispherical video and VR to create fully immersive or embodied experiences. His installations and collaborative works have been exhibited in New York, Miami, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Omaha, Pittsburg as well as internationally in British Columbia, Basel and Istanbul. He was Artist in Residence in the High Arctic, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art and the Vermont Studio Center and a recipient of the Jacob Javits Fellowship. Blatter was the founder and editor-in-chief of the Daily Constitutional, an artist run publication that focused on the Artist’s voice. In 2014, he collaborated with Ryan Holladay, Artisphere’s New Media Curator, to mount the regions first major sound art exhibition. John Henry holds a BFA in Sculpture from The Ohio State University and an MFA in Sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University.