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June 15, 2011

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June 15, 2011

Why is art important to mental health? It was a dreary January morning when I was barely able to drive myself to the hospital, my thinking was so screwed-up. I didn’t even realize it at the time, but I was extremely paranoid. So much so, that I nearly ran out of the therapist’s office in fear. But then I saw some pencil drawings of a rock and roll band on the inside of her office door. That really put me at ease; I knew the therapist could be trusted, so I stayed and got treatment. That wasn't the work of an Awakenings artist on her door, but now I continue to appreciate the artwork of others through my association with the Awakenings Project.

The Great!

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

Awakenings has definitely been a factor in contributing to my recovery. Not only do I experience something positive when I appreciate others' artwork, I also have a sense of belonging since I've gotten to know a lot of the people there quite well.

Ways to make it better...

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

Bring in new people who can take on more leadership roles while encouraging those already there to do the same, and getting more funding so Awakenings can expand and serve more people who have mental illnesses.

June 15, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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June 15, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

The Awakenings Project is a great organization run by individuals with a mental illness. The organization uses the creative arts to help people understand their illness and learn about recovery. The organization encourages artists of all kinds to reach their potential. The role models of the artists help people in their journey to recovery as well as erase the stigma associated with mental illness.

The Great!

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

I have seen the results of this organization as people grow in confidence.

Ways to make it better...

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

I would have affiliates of this organization around the world. It is a model for best practices of what works in mental health recovery.

February 2, 2011

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February 2, 2011

The Awakenings Project was co-founded by one of the 3 co-owners of Gallery Trio, Irene O'Neill. She has helped Robert Lundin, the founder, to keep it going for nearly 15 years already. Here at Gallery Trio, we have had several of the Awakenings artists exhibit in our gallery, alongside many other talented local artists, and the caliber of the work is right up there with the best of them. Awakenings has helped dispel some of the stigma against people with mental illnesses by showcasing the talents of some incredible artists, introducing them to the community at large, to other artists, and to patrons of the arts. They have developed quite a following, with their website www.awakeningsproject.org and facebook group. The other 2 co-owners of Gallery Trio commend The Awakenings Project for all the good work they all do, cooperatively.

The Great!

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

seeing the impact they have had, with much good press, spreading the word that people with mental illnesses are people first, and artists first.

Ways to make it better...

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

try to have more time to get involved.

More feedback...

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

What is unique about this organization?

How much hard work the artists do to spread the word, they travel all over the state of Illinois and beyond, and they support all the arts, not just visual, but also literary, music, and dramatic arts. They help so many individuals, and inform a large segment of the general population about the creative talents of people with mental illnesses.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

March 20, 2010

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March 20, 2010

This art project has been my lifeblood for the past 13 years. I helped founder Robert Lundin get it off the ground in 1996. It was supposed to be a one-weekend long art show, and thanks to the energies of the member artists, it has extended its run by going on 14 years. The empowerment felt by artists and people doing the administration, all of whom are directly impacted by mental illnesses, is unbelievable. We've had so much press coverage, interest by the general public in the positive contributions by artists with mental illnesses and videos made about our work it's been a great learning experience and the camaraderie in the relationships that have been formed is very deep. We are like a family.

Photos

The Great!

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

the reception by the public to learning about the talents of these great artists who live with mental illnesses, and the growth of the project from the visual arts to the literary arts, the musical arts, and even some of the dramatic arts.

Ways to make it better...

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

find a way to get a professional grant writer on board to help the organization get more funding, because it richly deserves it.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the support I've received from all the many members over the years, especially those who have stuck with it for all these years.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

incredibly helpful, hard-working, compassionate, empathic and caring.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

spread the Awakenings Project model of grass roots, self-help artists with mental illnesses doing unbelievably fabulous things all around the world.

Ways to make it better...

I'm sorry, but I can't really think it could be any better than it has been.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

finding funding to be able to continue the great things the organization is doing, and to be able to expand them. Also, to be able to reach out to more artists with mental illnesses and continue to spread the word.

One thing I'd also say is that...

This project is much deserving of further recognition.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

November 4, 2008

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November 4, 2008

When my adult son came to live with me I began a frantic search for something he could do as an artistic outlet. I was delighted to find The Awakenings Project just 45 minutes away and we began to take Peter to the studio and to their wonderful art shows. He began to sell some of his paintings and sculptures which was a wonderful affirmation of his artistic efforts. We have enjoyed developing friendships with the leaders, the clients, and other parents. We appreciate the encouragement and opportunities that The Awakenings Project provides for art, music, drama and writing endeavors.

The Great!

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

art shows in Chicago, Aurora, Oak Park, and other Chicago suburbs.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the opportunity for artists, musicians, and writers who live with mental illness to be able to display and perform in real and wonderful galleries.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

always cheerful and encouraging. The leaders have offered my son transportation and even overnight housing when necessary.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

come to our art studio any Saturday from 11 AM - 2 PM and we'll put you right to work!