Mission: The arts and healing initiative transforms lives through creative expression by integrating the innate benefits of the arts with mental health practices for self-discovery, connection and empowerment. It offers professional development and community programs.
Programs: Our medical social emotional arts (medsea) training program (also known as social emotional arts on a shoestring) offers a practical manual of activities to support social-emotional well-being for any population and setting, particularly those with limited resources. Medsea is designed to help create rapport and connection, evoke positive emotions and bolster resilience, manage stress and pain, facilitate verbal and nonverbal communication, strengthen self-identity, and manage grief and loss. We have trained a broad range of professionals from social workers in la hospitals to community health professionals based in mexico! We continue to train medical students each year to deliver the activities from this program to patients at ucla medical center. We also trained a division of mental health professionals affiliated with los angeles county department of mental health. Playful & positive parenting: creative engagement and connection through the arts offers creative strategies to redirect and shift energy, get attention, establish boundaries, communicate nonverbally, support emotional safety and academic effort with non-judgmental language, respond to difficult emotions or traumatic stress reactions, facilitate interpersonal problem solving and decision making, and build self-care into daily life. This is an experiential training that provides parents, teachers, and other community members with tools for building social, emotional, and cognitive skills in children. Conceived from a forthcoming book on parenting by art therapist erica curtis, lmft, atr-bc with ping ho, ma, mph, founder & director of uclarts & healing, participants learn how to harness play and creativity to engage more effectively with children. The first playful & positive parenting workshop was successfully launched in the el monte city school district for parents and staff. Our inaugural conference on creativity & the arts in healing, sponsored in partnership with expressive therapies summit, offered over 125 sessions on arts-based tools for facilitating communication, building connection, promoting positive emotions, fostering engagement, reducing stress, and managing the impact of trauma. All sessions were delivered by leading national experts in art, dance, drama, drumming, music, writing, and playintegrated with mental health practices. We served 550 participants from 30 states and 7 other countries. Conference participants represented a broad cross section of professionals from education, mental health, community arts, integrative/complementary medicine, and other disciplines. A donor offered scholarships to enable us to support the attendance of 36 mental health and/or arts professionals from the la county department of mental health, turnaround arts schools in washington dc, boys and girls clubs of greater milwaukee, and other places. We had robust participation of various departments within the los angeles county department of mental health as well as support from the los angeles county arts commission, which offered scholarship support for some of their grantees to be able to attend. In addition, we have continued to offer our other signature training programs:certificate program in social emotional artsbeat the odds: social and emotional skill building delivered in a framework of drummingdance for all: social and emotional learning through creative movementtrainees for all of these programs have come from a broad range of professional backgrounds in mental health, education, the arts, healthcare, and social services. They also come from across the country and other countries as well. Beyond our signature program trainings through uclarts & healing, there was an exponential rise in external demand for our training and delivery services. Some examples of services provided in 2017: we obtained a grant in collaboration with el monte city school district to enable us to directly serve after school and alternative education students in beat the odds drumming, in an artist-in-residence model that also trained staff to deliver the program sustainably. The grant also enabled us to serve parents, caregivers and school personnel in our new playful and positive parenting workshop. We trained the kalihi hai elementary school community in oahu, hawaii in arts approaches to managing trauma and social-emotional learning through our beat the odds drumming program. This school is supported by the kennedy center-based turnaround arts program, which serves the lowest performing schools in the nation. We delivered our beat the odds drumming program to build connection between special and general education students for the los angeles unified school district special education department. We also support the delivery of our programs by other organizations; for example: kaiser permanente educational theatre, which serves elementary schools from san diego to bakersfield, now offers full delivery of beat the odds to any elementary school that wishes to have a deeper educational experience after their introductory performance on conflict management. The oxnard school district (after receiving beat the odds training for counseling and outreach staff in the previous year) hired a drum bus to deliver our beat the odds program to every 5th and 7th grade student, and to every 7th grade alternative education student, in the district. We have also experienced an exponential rise in presentation requests, which also reflects our increasingly broader reach. Some examples of presentations in 2017: lacdmh interfaith advocacy committee (representatives from many faith-based organizations in los angeles) lacdmh service area 7 (representatives from mental health agencies and schools, community-based organizations, health care) in this underserved east la region of la county; the county is divided into 9 regions) old town school of folk music (representatives from community-based organizations exploring collaboration on a comprehensive approach to address violence in chicago neighborhoods) childrens institute international trauma conference pablove foundation (national research and support programs for pediatric cancer) music and the mind symposium co-sponsored by the university of texas southwestern and dallas symphony ucla school of social work (all first year msw students)