We’re elated to welcome Allison Massari to the Hint Summit stage this year as a keynote speaker. Hint Summit ‘23 takes place September 20-23 at the Port Pavilion in San Diego, CA. Allison Massari is a multi-disciplinary artist with a celebrated career in various artistic mediums including painting, mixed media and sculpture spanning over 25 years. Allison’s personal experiences of trauma, nearly losing her life and suffering severe injuries shook her world, pushing her to redirect her focus towards healing.
There was nothing else to focus on as Allison had consciously experienced burns on over half of her body from a head-on collision that left her trapped in her vehicle, which was immersed in flames. A bystander who was a Vietnam veteran smashed the window of Allison’s car and pulled her out to safety. The year was 1998 and at the time Allison was already a full-time artist in the midst of getting her paintings ready for a museum exhibition.
It took Allison a many years to fully recover and before she could, she unfortunately experienced another tragic car accident resulting in a traumatic brain injury nearly three years later. Although Allison got knocked down again, she birthed a renewed sense of strength and an immovable will-power that taught her to lead with her heart. This new path led to discovering the answers of how best to surmount obstacles and a new way of being. “I didn’t want to just heal. I wanted to feel peaceful. I became relentless in my pursuit to find the answers to life.”
In the course of her healing, Allison Massari started her journey into public speaking with an invitation to deliver an hour keynote address for a local community event consisting of an audience of over 500 people in 1999, only a year after her initial car accident. It would take a quite a few more years, however, before Allison would delve into public speaking full-time.
Content with her life as a full-time artist, it was a self-reflective moment when Allison realized after 11 years of deliberate effort towards self-healing that she had not only successfully “healed every corner of [her] being,” but also “felt more peaceful than before…and even better than before the accident.” This propelled Allison into action, with a “fire inside,” feeling compelled to share her story and let others know that it is possible to move beyond such unimaginable tragedy and loss, to a life that is beautiful.
“I would never have imagined that it was possible to be such a sensitive soul, an artist, living a quiet life, that I would burn alive, and go through the accompanying darkness and trauma - emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually and come through it better than before." - Allison Massari
It was a challenge at first for Allison to embrace keynote speaking because she did have a fear of it, but knew she had to learn because her desire to share her message was bigger than the fear. In this new challenge of public speaking, Allison found a higher purpose: “to bring true hope and support” to others and a new artform, the spoken word. In this spoken word art form, Allison spreads her wings and invites others to the same.
“Gracefulness is facing adversity...with a song in your heart." - Allison Massari
Allison’s experience is expressed in her visual artwork as well. At times she uses fire in her imagery to represent its duality. Because Allison made it through even better than before, she felt empowered by incorporating fire into her work. “I became determined to visually tell the story of how the fire that was once destructive became a symbol of beauty, and the triumph of the human spirit.” Allison’s artwork serves as a backdrop to the keynote speeches she delivers representing an intrinsic part of her message.
Although Allison Massari does not come from the medical profession, she did grow up with an intimate perspective of the practice of medicine in St. Petersburg, FL as her mother was a nurse and her father was a surgeon in oncology. She shadowed her father in his medical practice. This experience coupled with her own journey and personal breakthroughs lends her full support of the direct primary care movement. As a patient, she recalls spending lots of time inside of hospitals, clinical offices and physical therapy centers. Allison states, “compassion heals the places that medicine cannot touch.” Restoring the doctor-patient relationship and giving clinicians the time to build a trusting connection with their patients only invites room for more compassion and optimal care.
We look forward to seeing Allison Massari deliver her unique keynote speech at this year’s Hint Summit and feel fortunate to have her. Allison is an award-winning artist with her work permanently displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg, a two-time recipient of the Artist-in-Residence Award from the Anderson Ranch Art Center, a Helena Rubenstein Scholar and has museum exhibitions across the country as well as commissioned artwork with several Fortune 500 companies.
Learn more about Allison Massari and her work on her website and connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.