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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Art & Creativity for Healing Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts & Humanities Councils & Agencies, Arts, Culture & Humanities, Arts Education, Single Organization Support

Mission: Art & Creativity for Healing was founded with a vision that the creative process and emotional healing often intersect when words are not adequate, and pain is too deep. Our programs are designed to work in conjunction with educational programs and therapeutic models (including traditional talk therapy) augmenting the benefits of these modalities with a unique creative approach. Specifically, our methods allow participants to learn a new way of communicating through creation and color that encourages emotional breakthroughs and further enhances the therapy process. Unlike other art programs that employ a loose format of free expression, our curriculum contains strictly guided exercises designed to elicit a creative response that encourages the release of stress issues, grief, anger and disappointment.

Results: Since our inception, we have directly fostered transformational change in more than 60,000 children, women and families who have found our creative intervention a valuable tool to address the often-unbearable pain in their lives. With more than 35 non-profit program partners in Orange County we have created an effective methodology for reaching people in pain.

Target demographics: Children, teens and adults; low-income and underprivileged populations; military families.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 4000

Geographic areas served: Orange County, Calif.; San Diego County, Calif.

Programs: Art4Healing programs

Community Stories

81 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What an incredible organization this is. I stumbled across ACFH around December 2016 when I was looking for a meaningful charity to donate to and have been volunteering since. In my work as a volunteer I have attended many workshops where I have seen first hand how the programs that Laurie has set up through her incredible vision, have help so many. Aiding healing through art is palpable and I feel so incredibly privileged to have witnessed this and be part of this phenomenal organization.

1 Margie B.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found this wonderful organization 6 years ago when I was going through a devastating divorce. At the time I could not begin to express my feelings in words! Art & Creativity for Healing gave a way for me to express those painful feelings through painting abstractly.
Through the workshops, I began the slow process of healing , and when I couldn't speak the words, I could paint my feelings. Thank you Art& Creativity For Healing, because you helped my find a new life and I am grateful.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was introduced to Art & Creativity for Healing through happenstance when I moved from NYC to Laguna and was looking to connect with people and the community. It is magical. The nonprofit reaches out to so many different constituencies, using the creative process to help people express their feelings (verbally or in color) which is essential to support healing. The works of art that people create through this process are also amazing. Everyone associated is kind, generous and really makes a differences in the lives of people who so need their support.

Diana Hamill S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been associated with Art for Creativity and Healing since 2002 as a volunteer and teacher. Throughout the years the high-quality programs offered to the community have expanded to reach far beyond the original scope and now include veterans, women's groups, schools and hospitals. Three cheers for this amazing and supportive non-profit and the commitment Laurie Zagon has made through her tireless efforts in bringing art to thousands of participants!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have taken many workshops at Art & Creativity for Healing and each time I have a unique experience. Sometimes pain from my past has come up and it's amazing how this method allows me to tap into it and get it out on canvas. It's kind of like learning a new language to express myself through color and paint. One workshop helped me experience a deep inner joy about my childhood. Another helped me deal with my anger and fear. All of the workshops I have taken have been a window into my soul and have truly helped me heal. I can't wait to take another workshop!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Years ago I attended a workshop at Art and Creativity for Healing through the school district. I was employed by. I found the experience enjoyable, therapeutic, and valuable. Because of this opportunity, my daughter and her friends, whose parents were going through a divorce at the time were able to attend a session. My friend still remarks about the support and comfort her daughter gained from that experience, and having my daughter there to be her wingman was so wonderful.

Last spring I completed the certification program and am now a qualified facilitator. I believe wholeheartedly in the benefits of abstract art, combined with followup discussion and the curriculum that guides the process. With the disappearance of the arts in our schools, it is more vital than ever for children, especially those in emotional need to have this type of outlet. This program is for everyone, young and old, hurting and joyful. It is a gift to the community.

Sincerely,
Edie Gilligan

Board Member

Rating: 5

I’ve been to several Art & Healing workshops, and every time it is miraculous to witness the results that this type of therapy has on people in such a short period of time. It’s a wonderful organization that strives to give all it can and I adore Laurie, she runs that organization with a lot of love, it’s awe-inspiring!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a member of the Guild, I had the good fortune to be a participant in an Art and Creativity for Healing workshop. I am NO ARTIST but Laurie assured us all that it didn’t matter. She was right—her voice, her prompts and the music allowed me to focus on my feelings—let them out and flow on my canvas. I typically write my feelings on paper, in a personal journal. For the first time, I expressed myself through color and paint strokes. When I finished my canvas, my feelings and emotions were there for me to reflect on and to learn more about myself. Such a valuable tool!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Art & Creativity for Healing has helped so many in our community!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was surprised at the depth of emotion I felt during one of my paintings. I thought the death of my son was healed and I had moved on. I found I still had some anger and anguish that came to the surface during my painting. I am so thankful for the opportunity to participate in this healing process and will always cherish my painting.

Stephanie Hall B.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Art4Healing is an amazing tool for the expression of emotion, whether pain or joy. The organization, Art and Creativity for Healing, is a fun, yet extremely professional group that has helped so many thousands of people through the years. Laurie, the founder, is a gifted teacher who puts clients immediately at ease with her wonderful style. Her story of coming to create Art4Healing to help others is one that all should hear. The facilitators teaching Art4Healing to various at-risk populations all over southern California are all top-notch, and the volunteers are a lively, passionate group. Personally, I was able to work through a grieving exercise as a participant recently after my father passed. Doing that painting was more than therapeutic. I cannot say enough about this wonderful organization, and all of the outreach that is happening in this broken world!

Paint and Soul Explorations

Client Served

Rating: 5

I discovered Art4Healing about 18 months ago and two months later I received an Art4Healing teacher certification. The mission of Art & Creativity for Healing “to support healing through art & creative expression for those living with pain, grief, fear or stress” resonated strongly with me.
While participating in the teaching certification course I had the opportunity to observe the process in various real time workshop environments; working with homeless families, and active duty marines. I was again deeply impacted as I saw firsthand, the doors for healing open. The impact was palpable. “Voice” was given to feelings, which were previously buried deep, through creative process.
I knew that this modality would definitely fit in my inventory of resources for offering opportunity for emotional inquiry and healing through creativity to those seeking. I now, regularly, facilitate Art4Healing workshops with women in recovery programs. Participants have so benefited from the process. Each finds their own messages, opening pathways of healing and moving forward in their lives.
Art & Creativity for Healing fills a huge need in our society and the programs that Laurie Zagon has developed over the years have been inspired and provides promise of hope to many who otherwise might not have found a voice for their pain, illness, grief, fear or stress. Whether you are one who is seeking healing or one who is seeking to increase methodologies for healing in one's own profession or vocation, Art & Creativity for Healing is a profound resource to be experienced.

rjartsy

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

When I first came to Art for Healing both of my parents had died and I found the Art for Healing workshops so amazing, I ended up taking everything they offered many times and also became a Facilitator. Now as I work with children, teens and adults I see the power of this process to help people express themselves and begin to heal in whatever ways they need to heal. There are so many examples but I will never forget the teen who had been involved in bullying said that for the first time he realized what he did to the other guy and he felt bad. It's a process that can encourage empathy and so much more!

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Art and Creativity for Healing is an amazing organization! Over the years I have been both a participant and a facilitator. I found the workshops so personally meaningful that I wanted to learn how to help others do this work. Art and Creativity for Healing takes art supplies into some of the most challenging environments. Facilitators provide guided experiences that show both children and adults how to use their own creativity and imagery to express themselves and find a way through their personal issues. As a teacher, artist and a trained counselor, I believe Art and Creativity is an organization with integrity and heart, it's the real deal!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've had many great experiences with Art and Creativity for Healing. I was invited to a workshop maybe 17 or 18 years ago. I fell in love with the method, and have been taking classes and volunteering whenever I can, ever since. The Art 4 Healing method is so powerful. It guides me to get my analytical brain out of the way and allow my true feelings to come forward. I think of the process as "clarifying"--it always brings insight and clarity to the things going on in my life, often revealing perspectives or answers that I didn't anticipate! In my own life, Art 4 Healing has helped me to process everything from day-to-day stress, to career, to illness, to marriage and motherhood, and more. As a volunteer, I've seen the "magic" of the method work in all kinds of populations--with at-risk youth, with victims of domestic violence, kids at Camp Pendelton, and more. I've seen it bring light, hope and healing to dark, confusing, and painful places in people's lives.

The founder, Laurie Zagon, is a gifted leader and has done a great job bringing her vision to the community and guiding the organization over the years. Her staff is talented and organized, and the organization is well-run. They are driven by true passion and belief in the method, which has proven to be so effective with many different populations over the years. Everything is done with care and thoughtfulness, and there is a warmth and positivity that permeates everything they do.

I hope that ever more and more people will have access to this enriching and healing experience. If everyone could experience Art and Creativity for Healing, the world would be a much better place!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Art for Creativity and Healing comes to CHOC Children's, where I work. I love to see the kids get excited to do art. It really takes the focus off of pain and illness and puts it on fun and creativity. They bring different kinds of activities and projects for all ages. It's a great alternative to toys and T.V., which the kids get tired of. The volunteers are so kind and engaging, and I know our patients are safe with them so I am able to focus on other things. Overall I highly recommend this program.

Godhelpme12

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I personally went three thousand miles from the east coat to the west coast to participate in the 40 hour facilitator certification course. I was recently diagnosed with PTSD from a career in law enforcement and looking for methods to cope with my symptoms. After numerous on line searches I came across Art & Creativity for Healing, Inc. I did some exercises at home and knew I needed to learn more.

I was going through a legal battle with the city and department I worked with for over 20+ years. Through the training I came to see how hurt, angry, and emotional the whole process was for me. Laurie Zagon was amazing at teaching, instruction, and dealing with the students whose emotions arose during exercises.

After I saw the amazing help this program offered to me I immediately told the Veterans Outreach Center I was volunteering at about the program. They also saw the benefits in the program for their clients and workshops were offered.

Of course the population I worked with were Vietnam Veterans and they were a little reluctant to attend the workshops but were finally willing to give it a try, as they already tried everything else to deal with the PTSD they were suffering with for over 40+ years.

One of the darkest clients who was so angry at the world took the workshop his comment on the evaluation sheet confirmed what I already believed, this program is necessary to help individuals suffering from many different reasons. His quote "To forget life" and "Find Peace".
After the class he stated to me and I wrote it down "When doing the exercise I was able to forget about the real world and my chest pain subsided". The workshop had been "living with chronic illness".

For the last four or so years I have been facilitating courses at different venues and continue to do so.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We are a military family and all 3 of our boys have gotten to participate in an art for healing workshop at San onofre school. They love the experience and look forward to it each year! My husband and I also had the honor of attending the art for healing gala this year. It was wonderful! Thanks art for healing!!

Melanie52

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What an amazing place! The founder and her staff are tirelessly working to give the best opportunities for self expression and renewal to many in awful situations. Not only for individuals who come through the doors but to community needs such as ending human trafficking!

Melanie47

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I can’t say enough good things about this organization. My experience with Art & Creativity for Healing goes back to its very beginning when, as a Marriage & Family Therapist, I received a post card in the mail and I wanted to ‘check it out’ before referring clients to workshops. I was immediately ‘sold’ by the process as well as by Laurie with her obvious love, passion and commitment to serving the needs of so many people. Since that time I have referred many clients and have personally attended a few dozen workshops with friends, various family members (including one with my young granddaughter!) and students. For the past 10 or so years, I have brought my graduate psychology students from Pepperdine University each semester to experience what I believe to be a very helpful and therapeutic resource for all therapists.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Art & Creativity for Healing was such a blessing and right when we needed it. My husband and I were able to both enjoy an incredible class with Laurie. My husband served in the Marine Corps for 10 years. He was injured in combat on his second deployment and then deployed twice more after that he was medically retired. We both found so much healing in our paintings. Thank you for all that you do!