AWAKENINGS PROJECT

Rating: 4.92 stars   38 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture, Mental Health, Health

Location: P.O. Box 177 Wheaton IL 60187 USA

Mission: The group's mission is to assist persons with mental health issues in developing their craft and finding an outlet for their creative abilities through art in all forms. The Awakenings Project also works in another direction: to seek to raise public acceptance and awareness of the creative talents of people living with psychiatric disorders who work in the fields of fine art, music, literature and drama. As writers and artists in recovery, for over a decade, we at Awakenings have basked in this activity, and feel sure the public will continue to better surmise the creative capacity and endowment of persons living with mental health issues. The Awakenings Project has succeeded. Awakenings has been a grass-roots initiative. It shows that mental health consumers can become producers of extraordinary art exhibits, can publish an internationally acclaimed literary arts journal, can support music and theatrical events. Our work has not gone unnoticed. In 2006 we were winners of the "Outstanding Contribution to Recovery by a Non-Profit Organization" award by the Irwin Foundation at Celebration Recovery.
Results: We've been in existence since 1996, but only became a 501(c)3 in January 2004. All of us live with some diagnosis of a mental illness and we love to create art. We've produced literary arts journals for over 10 years, produced many, many gallery shows, where we have musicians at our opening receptions, we do art fairs, fundraisers, etc., etc.
Target demographics: people who like to create art, whether visual, music, literary or drama, who also live with some form of mental illness.
Direct beneficiaries per year: Our studio serves approximately 35 - 50 artists per year, and we print work from approximately 35 authors in our literary journal annually.
Geographic areas served: Chicago, Chicagoland, DuPage County, Kane County, Cook County, Will County, and sometimes all of Illinois
Programs: art groups, classes, exhibits, producing The Awakenings Review, poetry readings/slams, music and dramatic productions.
2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

The Awakenings Project is a wonderfuul non-profit created to help those, like me, suffering from various forms of mental illness express ourselves through the arts. One would be hard-pressed to find an organization serving the mentally ill population as successfully as The Awakenings Project. Awakenings has proven to be a very valueable creative outlet for me--without Awakenings I would have no voice and continue to feel the affects of stigma from the general public.
The Awakenings Project is an organization that everyone should get behind and support! The awesome volunteers at Awakenings are helping break down barriers and changing lives, like mine, just by existing!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Change nothing!!!!

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

The Awakenings Project is a wonderful non-profit unlike any other. It's focus on those who are affected by mental illness is truly a rarity in today's world and deserves far more attention than it has been receiving to-date.
I am a proud supporter of The Awakenings Project and have been for the last couple of years. Anyone who has had their lives touched by mental illness will find the staff and volunteers at this organization understand the needs of those afflicted by psychological diseases. Awakenings encourages healing through art--in all it's forms--to better not only the mental health community, but the world at large. This unique non-profit seeks to be a voice and outlet for an often overlooked segment of our society--the mentally ill.
As a mental health consumer and writer, this organization has filled a need for me; a need to be heard! There is no other non-profit quite like it in the world and I really can't say enough great things about it!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My personal life and artistic life has been touched by The Awakenings Project.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

No changes.

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

The Awakrnngs Project has meant so very much to me. Coming out of partial brain removal in 2003 , I was quite reserved to say say the least.y mental illness had taken over my being. I came over to the Awakenimgs Project aroun 2006. It has meant all tje very being of my inside expression. Havimg beem an art major in college, I did bave a bit of formal knowledge though bundled up inside and me being dased and confused(sorry for the saying). The Awakenings Project helped me to blossum back to my artistic roots amd also helped in my socialising, too. Still a part of the project, it makes me want to be a light to others suffering from menal illness as I do. Without the Awkenings Project I would have never been better off!

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Awakenings has brought me from a sheltered state to one that I can communicate freely with other like minded individuals. The shows we have are great to show off the fine arts side of the Project.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've been able to sell my artwork for the first time.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If I had to change Awakenings, I would provide more successes in grant money.

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I love what they are doing with art to help those with mental illness.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Unsure

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been in touch with this organisation from the early days of my own recovery. It inspired me to know that there was such a celebration of talents and a proactive response to people's abilities in encouraging them to take their work forward and bring it to the wider attention of society at large. In so doing the public can appreciate the gifts of people rather than being made aware of their so-called deficits which every human being has should we choose to look at life that way. The quality and diversity of the work produced has been nothing short of astounding. I am extremely proud to be associated with this highly acclaimed enterprise and the passion the workers show.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I was so surprised when I found The Awakenings Project. A roomful of artists and art supplies and I could come and use the studio and have a place to paint and not worry about the smell of turpentine or a bit of spilled paint. My apartment complex would never allow that. And on top of that we have shows! My art can be seen! A chance to have someone connect with what my art says about what I feel, what pain I have been thru, where I find healing in my life. I love the shows. They allow those of us with Mental Illnesses to speak to the public, to help them understand our lives, our talents. And some of us are even able to sell our artwork to have the money to make more. But most of all I like being able to talk to people who "get it" and share our struggles and our joys as we walk thru life looking for healing and acceptance.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Amazing. I love the Awakenings Project and am so grateful for all those that they help through art. It is a beautiful Project that everyone could benefit from. I look forward to partnering with the Awakenings Project in the Future! Irene and crew you rock!

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Quite well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

The Awakenings Project is an amazing group of artists that empowers those living with mental illness. I have spent an afternoon with the artists in studio and I felt honored to be creating alongside fellow artists. I am an Art Therapist and firmly believe in the creative process of art making. Creating artwork can connect you to your true self and soul and is very healing. They are amazing and we are blessed to have them in our area.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

aspects of my professional and personal life.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

help them procure more funding or partner with an area developing art therapy organization ; )

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I began with Awakenings in 2004. Initially I was heavily involved and did many of the shows and helped with set-up and spent a lot of time at the studio. I would say that the Awakenings Project helped me through some pretty dark periods in my life. Over the years I became less involved in the shows and set-up and became a board member-- fast forwarding to now where i am a advisory board member due to my rather busy life. I have witnessed the transformation one can experience by being a part of Awakenings Project as i know that others have as well. Next May i will be finishing up my masters in Social Work and hope to have more time to be involved with Awakenings Project-- as i know that they continue to reach out and touch many others.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Unsure

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been a member of Awakenings for eight years-during the eight years-I had a my art work in art shows and even got an award from one art show-I volunteer for Awakenings by helping getting donations and also I volunteer for Awakenings by doing art groups at two nursing homes-since I have been a member of Awakenings the organization has helped me with my recovery of my mental illness-I would refer Awakenings to other people

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Making new frieinds, experience volunteering for Awakenings

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Encouraging more people to use the Awakenings Art Studio and Help Awakenings to raise more money by having more benefits

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

By being more considerate of other people with mental illness who are at a lower level functioning than me

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

By volunteering for Awakenings doing art groups at two nursing homes-It helps me to learn more about certain kinds of art

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

It helps my recovery of my mental illness to volunteer for Awakenings

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Rating: 3 stars  

When the Awakenings Project moved to Elgin, Il I became aware and involved in the work they were doing to help precious people deal with their illness and flourish. They help artists who deal with psychiatric illness in the visual arts, drama, music and writing. For me they gave me a group of people I could spend time with, network with and process my life. I am not actively involved now but the project gave me a base to help build my life on.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Likely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Quite well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My name is Mary Ann and I suffer from a mental illness, schizophrenia, and I love art. I am a self-taught artist and although I knew I was not alone, I never knew that there were groups on line for people just like me. Even tho I live several states away, The Awakenings Project has had a big impact on my life. My confidence level has risen and I am inspired so much by the other members works. I hope to take a road trip some day and meet this great group of people.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Unsure

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 

Thank you so much Mary Ann for taking the time and investing the energy to write a review of Awakenings. You are so awesome! You've been an inspiration to me, to know that we can have an influence even from a distance. Keep creating and sharing. I know the whole Awakenings community loves your energy! Irene