The Awakenings Project is all about empowering and healing through art.
What began as an art show in 1996 has become what is now a working studio space with a fine arts program geared for visual artists as well as those who express themselves in theater, writing, music and drama – artists who have psychiatric illnesses.
The space creates an environment of support, friendship and mentoring. A sense of community provides a nurturing environment for the artist to evolve while facing the challenges of mental illness.
The project’s website puts it this way:
“Art, whether it be fine art or art therapy, heals some of the personal wounds brought about by mental ill health. It is a purposeful and optimistic activity. The artists plan exhibits, look forward to upcoming shows, grow and develop their artistic talents. The artists receive positive feedback, field questions about their art, and also make sales or win commissions. Writers, on the other hand, find vindication in seeing their work published in an attractive and reputable journal”. ~The Healing Power of Creativity, The Awakenings Project
Their website shares works by the artists along with their biographies. It also features upcoming events and submissions, an online gallery and a means to subscribe to The Awakenings Review which is an internationally acclaimed quarterly review.
A The Chicago Tribune’s YouTube provided an artist’s inspiring perspective and insight as to what the community is like and thus contributed to another goal of the project which is increased public awareness.