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2020 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

94 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Life changing art process that has helped me and those of my community to be able to better process grief, anxiety, post traumatic stress and life’s ups and downs. It can be applied to anyone’s life and you walk out being inspired and relieved wanting to paint another class! Please join us

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a facilitator at Art & Creativity for Healing I have seen miracles at work! I have had the honor of facilitating classes for all ages and demographics. There is something learned from everyone. As students express their own issues and lives on the canvas, there is often and "Ah-Hah" moment of clarity where they learn something new about themselves. I never know what that might be as I am just holding space for exploration. The process alone initiates clearer thinking out of the usual box. It is definitely an adventure witnessing this journey.
I have worked extensively with at-risk teenagers and have witnessed life direction altered as they put their pieces together. There might be a single moment where they decide they need to get a way from a relationship or drugs, or get their act together. I've had senior citizens work out years of trauma right in front of me. I've had Wounded Warriors come up and hug me for creating a space where they can express their fears. And I had a boy, who was thought to be mute, speak up to share his painting. I have seen miracles!
The Art and Creativity for Healing curriculum is extremely valuable as it works on all levels for everyone. There is always something to be learned from the canvas!

1 Ann G.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had such a wonderful experience with my first Art & Creativity for Healing workshop I became certified to facilitate these workshops. Studying with Laurie was a fabulous experience as I learned the structure of the workshops and how to discuss clients' art in appropriate and helpful ways. I have been teaching these workshops on my own for 5 years now, and it has been rewarding beyond my wildest dreams. I have since become a Certified Expressive Arts facilitator as a result of the seeds Laurie planted. Thank you for starting it all!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Art & Creativity for Healing is one of the greatest things that has happened to me ever since I moved to the US. As a Board member, I feel privileged to be associated with this wonderful organization and to know Laurie. I love the passion and compassion she brings to this organization as they work towards creating a deep & powerful impact on the society. I strongly believe in their mission and have great respect for they do for mankind. ACFH through its art sessions really provide emotional closure to people in distress enabling them to cope with their anxieties & negative feelings. It enables them to see life from a new lens that is bright, positive and life-changing. ACFH has impacted thousands of people ever since it’s inception and I feel proud to be a part of them and contribute towards their mission.

Ashley N.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with this organization since 2009 and it has created an outlet for me that I would not have had the confidence to utilize if I had not become acquainted with Art for Healing. This is a wonderful organization.

Lino C.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Coming from a humble background to be a very skilled and experienced CPA, I have always wanted to give back to the community. In searching for an organization where my skills, my quiet yet determined personality and my desire to do good can fit, I met Laurie and ACFH. More than looking good on paper, ACFH is very clear and focused on their mission. They are also budget efficient so they can reach farther and more with whats given to them. Seeing bright eyes and big smiles of the homeless children when I handed them THEIR OWN art boxes fills my heart with joy and love. What a great organization.

Thanh V.

Donor

Rating: 5

Art & Creativity for Healing Inc. gave my years of mental pain a more peaceful place in my heart and mind.

I first came to this organization just to do a stress relief workshop for my business, knowing we would do some painting without alcohol. We even joked saying we could drink in the parking lot afterwards since this was not one of those Painting nights. Well, I didn't need any alcohol to relax or to learn that I need to go back for more painting.

In each workshop, every color of my choice gives my "crazy" thought a meaning. Every layer of paint gives me a chance to cry, to be angry, to forgive... or not, without having to explain to anyone anything. It is abstract painting, so I can do whatever I want. My thoughts about abusive relationships are now on canvas instead of running wild in my mind. I actually can "tell" that person on my canvas, you are the cause of my pain, what I learn from this bad situation and how I will move on. What a freedom! A side note, I had never ever painted before. I failed horribly in my art classes throughout my childhood in Vietnam.

With such a profound method created by Laurie, the organization did not take the pain away, tell me to deny my pain. Instead, it helps me to accept, process and move on. Years of therapists allow me to hang in there and act normal but ACFH heals me, one color at a time.

Board Member

Rating: 5

When you find and experience something great, you just know it's the right fit for you. That is exactly what happened with me and ACFH. I wanted to get involved on the local level and make an impact right here in my own community. I wanted to donate my time and money as well as utilize my network to better the organization. The founders Laurie & Joe have been extremely inspirational in so many ways that words cannot describe. There is something very pure and genuine happening at ACFH you will just have to come take a look and witness for yourself. We have many ways to get involved, please don't hesitate to reach out to anyone one us. I am very optimistic that the organization will continue to grow and expand on the local level as well as the national and international platforms. The pure enjoyment of helping someone is why all of us do what we do :)

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am drawn to the passion that the founder Laurie Zagon has for this cause – the desire to serve and care for others through facilitating therapeutic, abstract art workshops so that the hurting can express their feelings with paint and the language of Color. Facilitators hold workshops throughout Orange County and into LA County and San Diego County. I am a certified facilitator in the Art4Healing process through Brandman University. I am also an Art 4 Healing Coach in the Art4Healing International Certification Program. I’ve personally benefited from my experience in workshops led by Laurie Zagon. I have discovered emotional healing through expressing what’s going on inside my heart and mind. Thank you, Laurie and Team. It’s an honor to be part of the tremendous Good Work happening through Art & Creativity For Healing.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Art & Creativity for Healing is an amazing organization! As both a teacher and a counselor I know the importance of providing opportunities for people to express their feelings in a safe way. I have been involved with this nonprofit for many years, both as a participant and then as a facilitator of workshops. I have found this work to be truly life-changing for myself and others. During these unprecedented and difficult times, the Art 4 Healing method is an important way that people can learn to express stress, pain, trauma as well as joy and gratitude. Workshops are offered to children, teens and adults to provide a safe and creative outlet for all those who need it. It is truly an honor to be part of this wonderful organization that helps so many people in our community and also now helps others throughout the world in our online programs. During these troubled times the work of Art & Creativity for Healing has never been more important and needed!

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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Art & Creativity for Healing is an amazing nonprofit that provides expressive arts workshops for children, teens, adults and seniors. Over 40 agencies a month are served including Human Options for victims of domestic violence, Marines and their families at Camp Pendleton, homeless children at Illumination Foundation, teens at risk at Kid Works and Access schools and families at Family Resource Centers. These are just a few examples of the people who benefit from the work of this amazing nonprofit which has helped transform lives for almost 20 years.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was really blessed at how very kind and compassionate the people were and also how cathartic the experience at Art for Healing was. I love this nonprofit and what they do. I look forward to many more visits to them.

Lisa Hammitt S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Art is healing. This method is beyond amazing in its ability to open up the mind to access deep often hidden or misunderstood feelings bringing them to clarity. This nonprofit helps through the community as well assisting those who normally wouldn't have access to such a program.

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!

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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!

Client Served

Rating: 5

This class can reach places of the heart. Ask yourself if you want to grow.

Eva C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have seen first hand, as well as experienced, the healing that comes with expressing hidden emotions on the canvas. Because of Lori's insight, and that of her team, bringing this method to those that need it is priceless!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went to one class and just knew that I had to become a facilitator! Using make up sponges instead of brushes is just SO freeing! I am now almost done and am really enjoying the volunteering as I see first hand, the impact the sessions are having on individuals. People who didn't think they could paint are surprising themselves by discovering what they have inside of them, not to mention myself! While the emphasis is on the process, the story that comes out can be very revealing and even end up as a work of art. Exposing hidden pain to then be able to bring healing is priceless. I have learned much about myself and am looking forward to helping others on to a path of wholeness in an inspiring and unconfrontational setting.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I found this to be one of the most interesting, soul searching things I have done. I loved it and would love to do all the classes.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've taken a class and hope to take the one in August for volunteering. I've read her book. The work they do speaks to my heart.

Former staff

Rating: 5

I have seen first hand how people open up and paint their feelings, releasing years of pain and stress. Many times the process of this program allows the participants to see their history or situation with a new perspective that brings great relief. It gives participants a new language with which to express themselves.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the privilege and honor of faciliating these workshops for this excellent non-profit. I have worked with veterans, their wives, children, troubled teens, and women survivors of domestic violence. To be able to provide these groups to those struggling for the benefit of self exploration and healing has been extremely rewarding. This organization helps individuals heal and express themselves in ways they cannot with words. I thank Laurie and her non-profit for giving me this opportunity to witness healing through art and creativity. I am sure each person who has been able to attend a workshop has had similar feelings of gratitude.

Board Member

Rating: 5

It is an honor for me to serve as a member of the Board for Art & Creativity For Healing. For the last 14 years, Laurie and the Volunteers, Guild and Board Members have brought a powerful means of expressing pain and grief through abstract art. This method as allowed for individuals of all ages and from all backgrounds to gain healing and understanding of their experience through their own personal art.
I have had the distinct opportunity to volunteer as a helper of the amazing facilitators for many of our local programs, as well as served at the studio workshops. The impact that the program has for all of the individuals who participate is important for their 1) healing process as well as 2) the communication of their individual experience of their situations to their own family, friends, case workers and therapists.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Art for Healing classes are relaxing and allow participants to find their creativity inside. Truly enjoyable classes...great for children and adults. The Art & Creativity for Healing team are well prepared and organized and encourage expression of all feelings.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Art for healing was a great team building experience. Hard to explain how great the experience was. My co-workers and I all bonded over our different levels of creativity and all got to know each other a little better by explaining out pieces. Laurie put together an amazing class for us, I highly recommend this to any company looking for team building events. Or for people who maybe need a new way to understand their feelings and emotions. It was a great day!

Client Served

Rating: 5

It was fun, and cool. better then what was coming up in my mind. Paint on!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my 10th year as a volunteer for the Art4Healing program at Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC). Through this program it has been a blessing to me to work with kids from ages 4-25 who have cancer. I meet with them one-on-one in their hospital rooms and provide the tools, encouragement and interaction to help them express themselves through art. Even their family members often join in to create an art project that helps them find some release for stress or discouragement. Art 4Healing is an important organization that facilitates many different kinds of healing through art and creativity. Laurie is a very special person who, through her vision, has developed programs for people suffering from several different kinds of pain. What a privilege it is to be part of this non-profit!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for the Visiting Art Angel program at Children's Hospital of Orange County for about 8 years. It is such a joy for me to represent Art 4 Healing to the kids with cancer. This one-on-one experience with kids from ages 5 to 20 is a chance for me to make a difference in the lives of children and young adults and their families. Each week I have at least one very special experience that I know makes a positive difference. Through art, kids are able to express their thoughts and feelings at such a difficult time. It's a privilege for me to be a part of this important program.

Client Served

Rating: 4

As Director of Behavior Intervention and Wellness programming for The Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, we have partnered several times with Art & Creativity for Healing with our patients, and we have loved collaborating with them! Their kindness and understanding of our children's needs has helped our Wellness program move along in the right direction!
Kelly McKinnon-Bermingham

gssl

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I was privileged to attend the Arts and Healing training with Lauri and her staff some years ago now. It was a powerful and informing experience for me. I have used the information I received to teach young children, Seniors as well as at a local woman's drug rehab facility. I am tremendously thankful for the training I received as well as a life-long skill that I can share for the rest of my life.

Donor

Rating: 4

I donated several pieces of my art work to Ms. Zagon's Art & Creativity for Healing since 2005 to help with their fund raising efforts. It is a wonderful organization which helps a wide array of people; both adults and children. I liked that they have helped sick children in hospitals as well as children who have parents serving in the military. I hope that this nonprofit continues for many, many years. They are definitely worthy of support!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I was introduced to Art & Creativity and Lauri Zagon's Art4Healing program in 2012, when I embarked on my journey to find ways to help facilitate awareness and healing through the process of art. I took the Art4healing Certification Intensive Workshop and discovered how powerful the program was; as I had already been on a journey of healing, it only deepened the awareness of emotional pain, and I was able to heal at an even greater capacity. I am currently facilitating the program in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area and sharing my desire to to fulfill the mission statement of Art & Creativity for Healing... to support emotional healing through art & creative expression for those living in pain, grief, fear or stress.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent at Art & Creativity for Healing. I was in a new environment at work and it was very stressful, and somehow I found ACH online and then I went to a class in person. I was so pleased with the class and the fact that I was able to release some of the frustrating emotions I was dealing with. Any time I know someone is stressed, dealing with grief or anything similar I recommend ACH.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The last week of February of this year I was sent to Camp Pendleton to be attached to MAG-39. My mission was to attend the In/Out Patient program for further recovery. Resistant at first, I just wanted to make it through the eight weeks in the hopes that I would be able to continue on with my career. Attending the counseling sessions and group classes helped but after having already been through two rehabilitations, obviously something was missing that was not allowing me to continue to heal. When I arrived and began the program, I was pleased to find out that there were art, dance, yoga, and tai chi classes incorporated into each day. Dancing was already something I already knew helped me stay balanced since it was my career prior to the Marine Corps. Yoga and tai chi, which also involved the use of connecting the mind and body, was also something I was familiar with and found comfort in doing. Then there was the Art4Healing class. I remembered loving art in elementary school but have not done anything remotely close to that since I was that young. When I arrived the first day I found the tables set up in a horse shoe shape, tables covered in plastic, and individual place setting for twelve people already set up. At each place there was a plastic apron, bottle of water, cup, plate, sponges, q-tips, paper towel, and many small containers each with a different color acrylic paint inside. Throughout the class we were instructed to paint with different prompts. We did not have an object to look at to paint, we were to paint our feelings. Sometimes we could use only one or two colors to illustrate the emotions that were brought up inside of us as we listened to each prompt. This is much harder than it sounds. Personally, I found great joy in painting things that were happy or that made me feel good. When asked to paint about fear, pain, sadness, anger, this is where I found difficulty. Coming to this eight week program I did not want to dig deep into my feelings, I was tired of reliving the past two years over and over again and I only came to make my command happy. When I was asked to paint these difficult feelings, I found that it was doing no good keeping them shoved down deep inside me. As I would paint these emotions, the memories would surface, the tears would begin to fill in my eyes, and I could feel some of the same sensations as I had when I had gone through those trying times. This then allowed me to open up more in group and let out some of which I was bottling up. After a couple of weeks, I began to realize how great I felt after the art classes and decided to stop by Michael’s and pick up some canvas and paint to bring to my room. Practically every day and every weekend I would spend time painting in my room. Although I was not painting feelings, I found that finding images online that would be fun to create or creating my own works brought just as much satisfaction and release. The time spent in front of the canvas gave me time to meditate and lower my anxiety level. I loved being able to go to my room at lunch after a rough morning of sessions or being able to do the same at the end of the day and release it all through the creation of something. By the time my eight weeks were drawing to a close in Camp Pendleton, I had a majority of the space on all four walls covered with my paintings from the class and from my free time. When it was time to go back to Yuma, I was not looking forward to returning. Being removed from reminders such as people, places, and things, had helped but the thought of being plopped right in the middle of all of it again made me sick to my stomach and dread would wash through me with the thought of it. Before arriving in Yuma I had put on a positive mindset and was determined that I could stand taller and stronger there. The day I arrived my command had no idea I was coming back. There was no place in a shop for me and they weren’t sure where I was going to go. I was accused of not contacting the unit while I was away and sat in the Administration office for almost two hours. Needless to say, by that point the positive mindset walked out the door and it felt as though I had never left. All the feelings of hatred, disappointment, sadness, and anxiety crept back in. I hadn’t even been back for half a day and I was already ready to flip a table. Other disappointments and frustrations have surfaced since then as well but this time it’s a little different. The day I returned to Yuma, I made sure I had some paint and canvas and for the first several weeks I would paint during my lunch break and I would paint after work. Besides the gym, it has been the only thing to calm me, level me, and help me find a balanced positive spot in my life. As a couple of months have passed, people began to see my artwork during room inspections or when I would randomly post one on Facebook. I created a few Disney characters for my friend’s children and a couple upon request. Several times the question was brought up whether I was starting to make commission on them and that I should because they were very good. Never in my wildest dream did I think that I would be able to sell art pieces of my own. Then one day I was asked to paint Winnie the Pooh characters for a baby room and that they wanted to pay me for them. I agreed and then really started to wonder if I could do this. I had originally started a blog site for my college class and thought this would also be a great place to display my artwork. I posted paintings and then advertised my blog on Facebook. Within 10 minutes someone already wanted to buy two of them. More were sold and then the requests came in for me to create works to their specifications. So far I have sold twelve pieces and hope that I am able to continue. With the recent paintings sold I have decided to start giving 10% of the profit to the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation. It only feels right to give something to a good cause with being blessed enough to be able to sell things I’ve created. If it wasn’t for the Art4Healing class in Camp Pendleton, I’m not sure I’d be in the mental and physical shape I am in now. Thank you so much for such a wonderful and rewarding opportunity. I am forever grateful for this healing tool.

Cathy78

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter will be President of the Art for Healing club at her high school this year. The club members work with the special needs kids at our school. Both the flub members and the kids that they work with (along with the teachers) benefit from the art projects that are done through this wonderful philanthropy. Thank you Laurie!

Judith29

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Personally and professionally I have found Laurie Zagon's Art & Creativity for Healing workshops to be exceptional.

Personally, the painting exercises Laurie developed helped me process the emotional and physical pain I experienced with my diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Rather than go into detail I posted details of my own experiences some years ago at http://judithwesterfield.com/2012/01/28/art-creativity-for-healing/

As a psychotherapist I continually refer many of my clients to the Art & Creativity workshops and training. The easy, yet powerful techniques and non-judgmental focus of Art & Creativity for Healing help them give expression to the inexpressible that is beyond the spoken language.


Tanya21

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was lucky enough to have attended a workshop with Art & Creativity for Healing and it was a truly wonderful and therapeutic experience. Everyone involved with the workshop was supportive, encouraging and passionate about what they do. I am currently in graduate school to become an MFT and Registered art therapist and I understand the healing power of art. I plan on taking their certification class as soon as I graduate because I want to be more involved in spreading art for healing. Truly a top notch organization!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I worked for Art and Creativity for Healing several years ago as a facilitator of classes - the work that the students accomplished was so rewarding it would bring you to tears. For children, especially teenagers, to express themselves with art, rather than words, is wonderful.

I hope this company continues to succeed and provide such a fulfilling service to people in need.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Art & Creativity for Healing is an amazing organization. The teachers that work with the children and adults are one of a kind. The organization helps people express their feelings and emotions through paint on a canvas when many times the ability to verbalize the emotions and feelings are not possible at that time. I have volunteered for several classes, with children, women and soldiers, and it amazes me every time how expressive these canvas' become and how they truly speak the word that can not be spoken. I am also amazed that by the end of a class and sometime a series of classes how the words are now finding a voice and it was found by easing through the process of putting feelings on to a canvas. Truly amazing organization, so amazing I joined the Board of Directors to become more involved.

Petra R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Art & Creativity for Healing is a wonderful non-profit organization that truly makes a difference. Clients are introduced to a medium that allows them to safely & non-verbally express their feelings using color on canvas in an abstract form. As a volunteer, participant and facilitator, I've witnessed how this process has positively impacted people and helped them break through barriers or plateaus to a healing place. It's a transformative process where a client may experience trepidation beforehand about taking an "art workshop," but afterwards he/she feels so at peace & relaxed that there's a very strong desire to repeat the process as many times as available. The founder is very passionate about the process and effectively uses all the available resources to reach as many people as possible. Her enthusiasm and caring spirit extends to all staff and volunteers.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at a domestic violence shelter for 7 years. The shelter is lucky enough to have Art and Creativity come to the shelter once a week. The clients are constantly saying that it is one of the most helpful classes that they participate in. They take such pride in their art work and feel better for getting out things that they are not able to express in any other way.

Erin47

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Art and Creativity for Healing since 2012 and I am the HeARTS for Healing Womens Guild President. I have participated in workshops and I have taken the facilitating certification program. I have seen first hand what this wonderful organization has to offer the community through the healing of art. Laurie Zagon is passionate about Art and Creativity for Healing. She is a compassionate, encouraging and a gifted leader.
Art and Creativity for Healing has been a true blessing in my life.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Before I ever heard of this wonderful organization called Art & Creativity for Healing, I was clueless about Abstract Art and could honestly say it never made sense to me. However, after taking a class my eyes have been opened to the endless possibilities of seeing someone's art work come alive. It is alive with feelings, expressions, and beauty. As a hobby I love taking pictures, and for me it is a way to capture the moment with my camera. As for painting on a blank white canvass, I was able to express my very own creativity in ways that help release thoughts and feelings that come alive through color. Amazing!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Art & Creative for Healing simply said changes lives. In my short time working as a volunteer, I have witness the effect of Lauries art program on battered women, children who's parents are at war and at risk teens. This non profit organization touches the heart of everyone it comes in contact with, including it's volunteers. Art is an amazing tool, Laurie has created a system to use this tool to heal. This is a spectacular non profit.

Susan240

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Art & Creativity for Healing is an organization with integrity, fiscal responsibility and accountability. As their CPA I am intimately familiar with their finances. Their practices are impeccable and their administrative overhead is extremely low. Money is managed conservatively with great care. They serve the community with love and compassion. They are a healing presence for so many and I highly recommend them.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Art and Creativity for Healing for two years as a board member and workshop participant. As a board member, I am exposed to so many stories of emotional healing through the workshops we facilitate for wounded warriors, battered women, and homeless children. In my own life, the workshops have guided me though my personal and professional goals in a way I have never experienced in the corporate setting. I am proud to be involved in this organization and would encourage everyone to try a workshop to better understand this important work.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having volunteered for Art for Healing for the past few years, I am continually amazed and encouraged by what I see in the workshops offered throughout the community. These workshops guide participants through structured exercises using various colors of paint on canvas. By allowing each participant to process their feelings through the use of color, often times enables them to express themselves in a way where earlier they may have had no words for.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was first introduced to Art & Creativity through a friend who was actively involved. I attended a "volunteer" orientation and was hooked from the start. Although I do not have an art background, I do have a very strong desire to involve myself with groups that have a positive impact on others. Art Creativity does just that!

We offer free fine art classes and workshops for children, teens & adults suffering from the emotional & social aspects of abuse, illness, grief & stress in their lives. This is accomplished over time by helping them process their feelings using a unique method of abstract painting with color. Volunteers are trained to assist the facilitator teaching these workshops and gain a special understanding of those undergoing such trials in their lives while at the same time witnessing their encouragement and motivation gained through these workshops.

Just an example of what we offer weekly: we offer workshops at CHOC Hospital (Visiting Art Angel Bedside program) Human Options (Battered Women's Shelter) Two schools at Camp Pendleton Marine Base (children dealing with the stress of parent's deployment & injured soldiers coping with brain injury, loss of limbs or other special needs).

After numerous volunteer hours I was invited to join the Board and have been actively serving for the past two years.

Since these workshops are free, we rely on generous donations from the community and foundations. We offer numerous volunteer opportunities, a Women's Guild, annual fundraisers (my personal favorite :) ) and much more!


























































































































































Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently took the training to become an art facilitator and it was amazing. I leant so much about my self and I have already given a workshop to several councillors in a rehabilitation centre

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am an artist and a designer. I have been a volunteer, facilitator and a client of Art & Creativity. The organization has helped not only me but my children process their emotions while I was battling breast cancer. My daughter and I still enjoy attending classes 7 years later. This is a great organization and helped so many people of all ages from all walks of life.