The ArtReach Foundation

Rating: 5 stars   4 reviews

Issues: Mental Health, Education, International

Location: 4060 Peachtree Road D165 Atlanta GA 30319 USA

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.
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

its workshops, when I have seen military personnel write incredibly powerful poetry, create poignant and beautiful art alone and in groups, write and act in plays, make music together, and want to keep going when the workshop is over. I have seen families reconnect through the arts when they were barely speaking. I have read feedback from participants who say all military personnel should have access to this work.

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

Get more volunteers and Board members to promote the work, and to raise funds to expand the work. Funding for nonprofits is down in this economy.

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

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

More volunteers to share the workload.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

As a combat veteran diagnosed with PTSD I can release a lot of my stressors/traumas without having to talk about it in detail.

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

I would like to see this kind of methodology offered in all military installations as a way to help combat veterans cope with traumas.

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?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

I have seen families come together in making a shared art project, individual soldiers release the tension that they carry from their wartime experiences as they write poetry, children find their parents through designing a family picture. People relax and healing begins through the art they do.

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

I would make it more available to the growing requests for its services.

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