Awakenings Project

Rating: 4.9 stars   39 reviews

Nonprofit Issues:

Arts & Culture, Mental Health, Health


P.O. Box 177 Wheaton IL 60187 USA


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.


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


art groups, classes, exhibits, producing The Awakenings Review, poetry readings/slams, music and dramatic productions.

2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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(630) 606-8732

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Reviews for Awakenings Project

Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I grew up understanding the Arts are most essential the existence of humanity. As I have seen the power of the Arts working as therapy for my own bouts of mental illness, I realized the powerful impact it can have on others as well. The Awakenings Project created an important outlet and opportunity for people who need a safe place to express themselves and receive therapy through Art.

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

The Awakenings Project is such a worthwhile organization. In addition to the fantastic artwork, I know that every dollar of my donation goes directly to help persons recovering from mental illnesses and not to some drug company funded agenda.

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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!!!!

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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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