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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Art of Elysium

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts, Culture & Humanities, Arts Services, Children & Youth, Health, Patient & Family Support, Youth Development

Mission: The Art of Elysium is a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization founded in 1997, by Jennifer Howell. We empower artists and communities of need to join together and emotionally triumph over their circumstances through art.

Target demographics: At-Risk Youth, Special Education Schools, Special Needs Community Centers for Adults, Youth dealing with Diabetes, Senior Community Centers, Homeless Adults & Elders, Homeless Youth and Families, Hospitalized Youth and Adults, Subacute Care Facilities, Visually Impaired

Direct beneficiaries per year: 43000 individuals

Geographic areas served: Los Angeles

Programs: We believe in using art as a catalyst for social change. Our “full circle” approach engages emerging artists in inspiring acts of service that forge opportunities for them to share their creativity in diverse and meaningful ways with individuals of need. We support and acknowledge our volunteer artists by providing platforms to showcase their art within the community. We thrive on our ability to provide an emotionally and physically safe space for the mutual exchange between artist and individuals in need. We provide artistic workshops in the following disciplines: Fashion & Design, Theatre & Film, Music & Movement and Visual Arts Programs. Art facilitates a freedom to think about life in ways never thought before. Our programs are designed to support individuals in the midst of difficult emotional life challenges like illness, hospitalization, displacement, confinement, and/or crisis by providing a variety of creative tools to help them realize relief, happiness, liberation and self-empowerment through exploration and expression in social and collaborative ways. For more information about volunteering in our community arts programs, please contact our Program Director, Leslie Culp at lculp@theartofelysium.org.

Community Stories

182 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Art of Elysium is a non-profit artist organization that empowers artists to bring their creativity to communities of need. It is truly inspiring to see the interactions and how it changes both the artist and the individuals in need.

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2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the privilege to be the LA Program Director for The Art of Elysium for 7 years. I truly believe in our mission and have seen it come to life daily. By facilitating the community artists to share their creativity and passion to medically fragile youth in hospitals and special education schools, I have had the pleasure to see how it positively impacts both the artists, children and families. Not only are we sharing the everlasting gift of art but we are also helping children and families through a difficult time in their life. And in turn we are inspiring artists to continue spreading their talent to the world around us.

1 kristen

Board Member

Rating: 5

It will be 19 years of The Art of Elysium on August 15, 2016 and it has been an amazing journey. I stand in absolute awe of our artists, people that we are able to bring the joy of arts to and the incredible staff that literally bridges the gap between these communities. We started out serving hospitalized children and have expanded to also serve elders and the homeless community. We look forward to taking the healing power of arts into prisons and veterans hospitals and to any other place where people can heal their lives through artistic expression.

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2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been blessed to have so many various roles with The Art of Elysium and have seen the organization from all sides. This year the artists have expanded to work with hospitalized youth, elder care facilities, the homeless community and will be expanding into prisons and veterans hospitals. The greatest gift is to be of service through our personal creative process. The AofE bridges the gap between artists and those in need and that is a true blessing.

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2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working with Art of Elysium for over five years now. Going room to room doing Improv games with sick children getting treatments in the hospital and intensive care unit. When we enter these rooms the energy is down. Somber. Quite. By the time we are done playing our games, singing or songs, and getting the child to participate in the fun, the energy has completely changed in the room. Smiles. Light. Love. The Art of Elysium is doing something VERY special. Everyday. Going to where people need it THE MOST. And connecting artists who spread joy and love to those who need it.

2 Catherine66

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with AOE is one of the best experiences I've had in LA. The organization is super-well structured so that the artists can really connect with the kids. It's such an amazing program, getting to relate to the kids through art and help them enjoy it and have fun. The volunteers are awesome people, as well. I really can't say enough good things about this nonprofit!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

To simply say that it is an honor to be a part of this organization is a gross understatement. At AOE we are not only blessed enough to be able to serve communities in need - but the impact that the work has on our artists serves an entirely new purpose. Being able to give the gift of art/happiness to both communities in need and the countless of volunteers that work for us means more than anyone could possibly explain and is a cause unlike any other!

1 spillart

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Art of Elysium is, by far, the most inspirational organization I've ever witnessed. As an artist and business owner, I am continually moved (blown away), by the hard work, vision and heart of the Founder, Jennifer Howell and the devoted team that she has.
Together, their creative outreach programs have touched and have had a priceless impact on countless lives. It's a joy to see The Art of Elysium continue to grow and reach even more children and adults with the healing power of art and love.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the most amazing charities I have ever worked with - seeing what they do first hand at the hospitals has been both an honor and a privilege.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

An amazing opportunity to share your creativity and passion with those in need.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Art of Elysium has been a part of my life for the last 8 years. I have had the pleasure of working with the communities they serve in very facets and love that they have widened the scope of their services to include other people in need of inspiration. Donate your time, money, anything you can to this extremely worthy cause.

2 Cole S.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Art of Elysium brings joy to the eyes, minds and hearts of many children and their families! Their programming consistently delivers on their mission.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Elysium is very fun on many levels, for everyone involved! I joined in 2011 as a carpenter, and now have an amazing sculpture workshop, of my own development, which is the most fun thing I do every month. The kids can't believe their good fortune when I show up with the amazing wood scraps and glue, and I believe that I am having more fun than them! The kids are very inspiring to the adults who work with them, and we always laugh a lot. In addition, the events and fundraising opportunities are really cool. As a professional artist, I can say that this type of work is essential to an artist's continual development. To create a workshop is the best way to learn from our youth, because they are as experimental as we adults should be on a daily basis. The Elysium operates very smoothly, and its communication system is top notch. They make you feel important and create an awesome environment for creativity!

3 Katrina N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I absolutely love this organization! Such a fabulous idea and a great way to help make someone's day a little bit better. I stumbled across this organization back when I was living in Chico and knew I had to volunteer once I got relocated to LA for a new job. The people who run it are wonderful! I've mostly worked with Krista & Leslie, but I'm sure everyone is great. They very flexible, friendly, and make you feel right at home. I highly recommend any artist, music, designer, actor, or anyone interested in those fields to volunteer. You won't regret it!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been privileged to have the Art of Elysium directly affect my family. I have attended many of their benefits in which volunteers are joyfully making art, face painting, singing, and drumming with children who have more challenges in their young lives then I can imagine. The pure joy which is generated by all participants is inspiring. This is my favorite local charity to which we donate. Their work is transformative.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I joined The Art of Elysium's team 2 years ago to help facilitate and manage the Theatre/Media Arts programs we run with critically ill youth in hospitals all over the greater Los Angeles area.
Currently I am the Director of Elysium Industry, which incorporates our artist services side of our mission and brings everything full circle by providing career support for actors, directors, writers and theater production professionals, who volunteer their time to our theatre arts programs. My experience with The Art of Elysium has been life changing. I feel blessed to be moved daily by the beautiful children we work with and the generous volunteers, who dedicate and give so much of themselves to our organization. Jennifer Howell put in place 16 years ago a mission to build an artistic community of artists who are philanthropic first and want to give back and heal the world through art.

3 Mason M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for The Art of Elysium since 2008 and the organization is very dear to my heart. When I tell friends about The Art of Elysium I always start with "It is the only time when I am out of my own head." There is a symbiosis that happens when artists interact with children. Creativity is the common ground and I have found that the volunteers are benefitting from these experiences just as much as the children. The goal of the charity is to offer creative respite for children that do not get a lot of social interaction due to various illnesses, but I can say that the profundity extends to the volunteers as well. Founder Jennifer Howell puts it best when she says, "We aren't a charity, we are a family of artists." I believe this to be true. In addition to serving thousands of children annually, The Art of Elysium takes great pride in its volunteers and makes great efforts to nurture their careers. I'm grateful to be a part of this organization.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My first experience with The Art of Elysium was over 6 years ago when a friend asked me to donate art for a fundraising auction. As he shared how the organization worked with children who were battling serious medical conditions, I felt uplifted. Throughout my childhood my brother dealt with a serious illness that had him in and out of hospitals for many years. After seeing first hand how The Art of Elysium positively impacted so many young people, like my brother, with art, I was forever connected. My roll with the organization has expanded to Curatorial Director where I am fortunate to bring art into hospitals and engage with artists who donate not only their work but their time. The reactions I have witnessed from both children and artists have been truly inspiring.

1 Masako K.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been involved The Art of Elysium as Sponsor first.
I thought this is great organisation for both side.
As a Sponsor will get a lot of Marketing and Communication opportunity and going to goodwill.
And now I am in charge Elysium Collection, this is my dream come true.
Woking with this very unique idea , Full-Circle Model will directly impact more than 50,000 artists and children each year, fueling artistic work and advancing careers while providing improved quality of life.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

The staff and volunteers of The Art of Elysium are some of the most dedicated individuals I've ever met and the differences they've made in the lives of hospitalized children in Los Angeles and New York is incredible. It takes a tremendous amount of strength to work with children day in and day out, many of whom are in very dire medical predicaments, and folks at this organization do it with pride, compassion, spirit and dignity.

1 Maggie M.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My association with The Art of Elysium began in 2009 when I joined the organization as an Actor Volunteer. I was thrilled to find an opportunity not only to work with children, but to do so by sharing my particular skill set. Whether I was participating in the Animated Storytelling program or visiting patient rooms to play improv games, I left every workshop with such a feeling of exhilaration and gratitude, having found a way to use my craft to serve hospitalized children. In 2012 I was lucky enough to be offered the position of Theatre and Media Arts Manager within the organization and am still thanking my lucky starts that I get to spend every day facilitating the connection between artists and children, enabling a shared experienced based on self- expression, creativity, and human connection through the medium of Theatre.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As the National Development Director for The Art of Elysium I have had had the opportunity to witness the impact of the artists and children as they engage with one another exploring their own individual creativity and passion. For the child, in the presence of an artist, they are not alone and they are not identified solely by their illness. They have the opportunity to explore various mediums for expression and find their own voice. For the artist, in the presence of a child, they are reminded of the impact of their art and how critical it is to the healing process. They are truly inspired to make change and create a world that promotes expression and creativity.