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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Elementary & Secondary Schools, International, International Development, International Relief, Literacy, Mental Health, Mental Health & Crisis Intervention

Mission: The ArtReach Foundation is committed to healing adults and children suffering from trauma associated with war or natural disaster through the use of the creative expressive arts. ArtReach professional teams work with teachers and public health staff to organize, develop and provide resources for programs that offer creative problem-solving and expressive arts activities.

Target demographics: children who have experienced trauma.

Geographic areas served: assisting, through creative arts therapies, the growth and development

Programs: Newest initiative is ArtReach Haiti. The initiative provides psycho-social training for teachers and NGO workers. Our initial program 2000-2004 was ArtReach Bosnia - A five-year commitment which established a fully integrated, nationwide, expressive arts program that benefitted children of trauma. ArtReach Bosnia provided psycho-social training for 492 Bosnian teachers and was administered in the regions of Sarajevo, Gorazde, Tuzla and Brcko District. In addition, a "train the trainers" program was also established which encouraged sustainability. In the first years of operation, over 275,000 children and teachers in Bosnia benefited from experiencing ArtReach programs and worked towards recovery from their deep wounds. The workshops provide training in how to use creative activities within a program known as the ArtReach Model, building hope, empowerment and wellbeing to ultimately help break the cycle of violence and envision the possibility of peace and safety.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a registered art therapist and have done three trips with The ArtReach Foundation. I have gone twice to Bosnia and was part of the pilot program in Haiti in May of this year. My experiences with ArtReach have been fabulous! The leaders are very professional and I always felt safe with the group. They arranged all the flights and details of our meals and lodging. While I worked very hard during the two weeks I served, ArtReach always had relaxing and cultural activities planned for our teams on the weekends. What a bonus considering the trauma we managed during the week.

ArtReach has worked successfully for 15 years and is recognized internationally as a model organization for helping children that have endured trauma . The information, training, experience, and personal relationships ArtReach has brought to people of various countries has transformed the lives of thousands. Their therapeutic approach based on the combination of the expressive arts is magical. This organization is tops in my opinion.

Hats off to founder Susan Anderson for the first 15 year of vision and perseverance to make ArtReach such a success. Martha Henson, the new executive director of ArtReach, did a fantastic job on her first pilot program to Haiti.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a retired psychologist and met The ArtReach Founder and CEO 2 1/2 yrs. ago. The work of the Foundation, using the creative arts to heal children and adults traumatized by war and natural disaster, fit my interest in working with veterans and military families who have sacrificed for all Americans. ArtReach Project America has the goal of offering training and workshops to military personnel, veterans, their families, and their providers in all 50 states. The work taps all volunteers' and participants' creativity, imagination, hope, fun, and engages people in the message that we are all in this together. I am now not only a volunteer but a Trainer, Board Member, and CoChair of Project America.

1 Hugo P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I served 8 years in the marine corps as an infantry man and did two combat tours in Iraq. Early in my second deployment to Iraq I was wounded by a suicide bomber attack. After returning from combat I was diagnosed with PTSD, traumatic brain injury among other injuries. After being found unfit for duty I completed many different types of traditional therapies which in my own personal experience were not very helpful. In my quest for true healing I found the ArtReach Foundation and I had the opportunity to experience their methods. I can honestly say that through the use of art, writing in the metaphor, music and movement I was able to release a lot of the things I would not dare talk about. Now that I am medically retired from the Marine Corps and benefiting from the ArtReach experience I continue to serve by being an ArtReach trainer and Veteran mentor.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a psychotherapist and a child of the military. After 9/11, it became increasingly obvious that the military and their families were having to bear an unaccustomed burden. Reserve and Guard units became essential to the missions abroad. Families with little experience of the military were having to adjust to breadwinners' being gone for long periods and, often, multiple deployments. More and more service people were coming home with the complications of PTSD and other injuries. I looked around for several years for some way to help and then I found ArtReach. This organization, through its initiative, Project Share, provides opportunities for healing and growth using the expressive arts. Work initially was targeted for the individual in the military but it quickly became apparent that their families were anxious for similar programs that would facilitate understanding and skill-building. ArtReach partners with the military in providing retreats for families in the form of retreats which include opportunities for all involved to form new and strong connections through art. In groups that are designed for the service member, individuals with the shared experience of combat join in working with the arts to heal the wounds of war. ArtReach continues to adapt to the increasing needs for its services as they arise. I feel very grateful to have found a way to serve the military in recognition of their sacrifices and those of their families.