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28 Reviews
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August 8, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

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August 8, 2012
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.

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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

June 16, 2011

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June 16, 2011

Awakenings is an artists collaborative whose members happen to also be recovering, or in recovery, from mental illnesses. Awakenings has touched the lives of many people and facilitated joyful creativity for persons in hospitals, mental health centers, nursing homes, and the community. They offer a Drop-In Art Studio in Elgin every Saturday from 11 am -1:00 pm with free art materials, laid-back companionship, acceptance, and friendly encouragement to join in and play!
Volunteers conduct art classes and 'happenings' everywhere they can - nursing homes, national and local Recovery Conferences in Chicago, Elgin, Lisle and beyond; host art exhibits showcasing their members’ work at art galleries, public libraries, colleges and universities, stage poetry readings, and publish a fine bi-annual literary journal, The Awakenings Review, with writings from consumer-survivors and family members. Awakenings awards scholarships to deserving artists to recognize their talent and help bankroll their art supplies or studies.
This organization runs on pure love. The founding members take phone calls from all over the country and are always open to including new people who happen to hear of Awakenings, at times even picking them up and bringing them into their homes for a meeting and a meal! Or dropping by the home of a supporter in another state as they drive through on their family vacation!
Awakenings has survived and thrived for over a decade now - how many consumer-run organizations getting by on a shoestring can claim such longevity?
I support Awakenings because of its work celebrates the gifts and strengths of persons with mental illnesses, educates the public, fights stereotypes and stigma, sets the spirit free, and is a remarkable band of brothers and sisters. Come join us!

The Great!

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

I've personally seen many people become empowered and energized by the opportunity to create art in whatever way they wish, in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. People grow in their artistic abilities and expand their horizons as a result of associating with this band of artists and free spirits. People begin to flourish, not merely 'recover.'

Ways to make it better...

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

I wish there were more helping hands to share the work. More people with cars, time, and energy to help out at events. Awakenings needs lots of new members to keep growing. More media exposure would help! Awakenings is a powerful recovery tool that more mental health agencies should know about and make use of to jump-start their members recovery and creative self-expression. Needs persons with grant-writing abilities to give some time and expertise to help Awakenings grow.

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

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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!