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Awakenings Project

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Alliances & Advocacy, Arts & Culture, Health, Mental Health, Visual Arts

Mission: The group's mission is to assist persons with mental health issues in developing their craft and finding an outlet for their creative abilities through art in all forms. The Awakenings Project also works in another direction: to seek to raise public acceptance and awareness of the creative talents of people living with psychiatric disorders who work in the fields of fine art, music, literature and drama. As writers and artists in recovery, for over a decade, we at Awakenings have basked in this activity, and feel sure the public will continue to better surmise the creative capacity and endowment of persons living with mental health issues. The Awakenings Project has succeeded. Awakenings has been a grass-roots initiative. It shows that mental health consumers can become producers of extraordinary art exhibits, can publish an internationally acclaimed literary arts journal, can support music and theatrical events. Our work has not gone unnoticed. In 2006 we were winners of the "Outstanding Contribution to Recovery by a Non-Profit Organization" award by the Irwin Foundation at Celebration Recovery.

Results: We've been in existence since 1996, but only became a 501(c)3 in January 2004. All of us live with some diagnosis of a mental illness and we love to create art. We've produced literary arts journals for over 10 years, produced many, many gallery shows, where we have musicians at our opening receptions, we do art fairs, fundraisers, etc., etc.

Target demographics: people who like to create art, whether visual, music, literary or drama, who also live with some form of mental illness.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Our studio serves approximately 35 - 50 artists per year, and we print work from approximately 35 authors in our literary journal annually.

Geographic areas served: Chicago, Chicagoland, DuPage County, Kane County, Cook County, Will County, and sometimes all of Illinois

Programs: art groups, classes, exhibits, producing The Awakenings Review, poetry readings/slams, music and dramatic productions.

Community Stories

5 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We were looking for artwork to enhance the atmosphere of our nonprofit psychology clinic and that's when we discovered the wonderful Awakenings Project. We ended up buying a superb piece of art from a client who struggled with depression. The piece is hung proudly in a place of honor in our clinic and many clients and clinicians have appreciated not only the art itself, but the story of the artist working to overcome his challenges. The Awakenings Project is awesome!

Peter A.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Awakrnngs Project has meant so very much to me. Coming out of partial brain removal in 2003 , I was quite reserved to say say the least.y mental illness had taken over my being. I came over to the Awakenimgs Project aroun 2006. It has meant all tje very being of my inside expression. Havimg beem an art major in college, I did bave a bit of formal knowledge though bundled up inside and me being dased and confused(sorry for the saying). The Awakenings Project helped me to blossum back to my artistic roots amd also helped in my socialising, too. Still a part of the project, it makes me want to be a light to others suffering from menal illness as I do. Without the Awkenings Project I would have never been better off!

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Awakenings has brought me from a sheltered state to one that I can communicate freely with other like minded individuals. The shows we have are great to show off the fine arts side of the Project.

Melissa H.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Amazing. I love the Awakenings Project and am so grateful for all those that they help through art. It is a beautiful Project that everyone could benefit from. I look forward to partnering with the Awakenings Project in the Future! Irene and crew you rock!

Previous Stories
1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Awakenings Project is an amazing group of artists that empowers those living with mental illness. I have spent an afternoon with the artists in studio and I felt honored to be creating alongside fellow artists. I am an Art Therapist and firmly believe in the creative process of art making. Creating artwork can connect you to your true self and soul and is very healing. They are amazing and we are blessed to have them in our area.

3FemaleArtists

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Awakenings Project was co-founded by one of the 3 co-owners of Gallery Trio, Irene O'Neill. She has helped Robert Lundin, the founder, to keep it going for nearly 15 years already. Here at Gallery Trio, we have had several of the Awakenings artists exhibit in our gallery, alongside many other talented local artists, and the caliber of the work is right up there with the best of them. Awakenings has helped dispel some of the stigma against people with mental illnesses by showcasing the talents of some incredible artists, introducing them to the community at large, to other artists, and to patrons of the arts. They have developed quite a following, with their website www.awakeningsproject.org and facebook group. The other 2 co-owners of Gallery Trio commend The Awakenings Project for all the good work they all do, cooperatively.