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2016 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

103 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Kathleen Tenefrancia

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Art of Elysium is truly a unique organization, filled with kind hearts and brilliant minds. Their belief that art heals resonates within their incredible programs, ranging from children's hospitals to elder care facilities. It is such an honor to be able to volunteer with an organization that brings light to others!

Jorge S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Art of Elysium is an extraordinary organization dedicated to serving various communities in need by connecting them with artists from all walks of life. Getting to witness first-hand the positive impact we get to make on these individuals is priceless. But one of the finer points nobody prepares you for is the growth each and every artist experiences as a result of their participation. It really cannot be accurately verbalized. The world needs more organizations like The Art if Elysium, for everyone's sake.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've known of the charity a few years and have heard of all the great work they do. More recently, I've volunteered and no words can express the wonderful impact it has on the volunteers and the communities served. The work of the charity truly is inspiring and shows the important impact art has on the world at large. Thank you Thank you!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Iv'e been a volunteer for this amazing group for over 6 years now. It's such wonderful experience to help out in any way I can.To see these children happy mean the world to me. I don't get to volunteer as much as I would like , but I'm always so blessed to help. The best part is knowing you made a child smile for the day. Wonderful organization!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've had the pleasure of working with the Art of Elysium for the past few years and it's been an amazing experience. You're able to brighten a child's day and help them take their mind off being in treatment. The organization makes it very easy to pick days/times that work for your schedule, and plan different projects that you think the kids would enjoy. Being able to brighten someone's day is priceless.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

If you want to have fun, work with inspiring artists, and make kids excited about life- this is the organization for you. Our workshops are designed to help kids forget, for the slightest moment, that they are in the hospital. To see the resilience of special needs kids (in a creative environment) is an awesome experience. The Elysium is good for the soul!!! The program directors are very organized, and the art events are really cool. They make it easy to find your way to the work locations, and are always there to make sure you feel comfortable in new surroundings. To be a volunteer, with such a giving organization, offers a great sense of accomplishment and pride. It is easy, super fun, and social.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Art of Elysium is an amazing organization that works directly with the community to bring all forms of art to people in need. I have had the wonderful opportunity this summer to intern with the organization and see first hand how much time, commitment and passion goes into everything they do. I have been able to learn so much about helping others and seen the lasting impact they leave on every one they touch.

Camille8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A few years ago I was introduced to the Art of Elysium founder, Jeniffer Howell through a mutual friend.
I could not believe the compassion and love everyone has at AOE!
I went on several volunteer hospital visits, and was so overwhelmed by the children,
They are not sad, they are so engaging and full of love.. I had to go and compose myself a few times, but the love and prayers flowing filled the entire children's wing!
Anytime I'm in town I really try to go back and help! It's a game changer! For the children & ours.
Best always,
Camille Jimelle
Costume Designer

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I don't think there's a group of people more devoted to spreading hope and love than The Art of Elysium! The ladies running the organization are so caring and seriously invested in the patients' comfort, care, respect and engagement, and go above and beyond in compassion for the families and kids that are served. It's truly a pleasure to volunteer with such kind and generous hearts, each and every time!

1 Jane110

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was introduced to the Art of Elysium when my husband played at the charity event, Genesis in 2014. The show's producer told me that they needed volunteers and that it was a great organization. I first started volunteering at the children's ward at the hospitals doing art project and this year transitioned to volunteering with Leslie and Amy who are amazing at the McBride Special Education Center and it's been precious to spend time with the students and devoted teachers. Hopefully, will try to take some time off to help at the senior center. Feels like I receive more than I give and giving support is a blessing. _/|\_

1 Yotam S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Art of Elysium is an extraordinary foundation that allows children, teens, and adults access to arts in hospitals, special-care facilities and assistant living. I'm very proud to have been able to be a part of the cause by working with children and teens, undergoing medical treatments in hospitals and special needs facilities. It been an honor to introduce fashion design and fashion illustration to many beautiful souls through the Art of Elysium. I'm fortunate that I was able to work with amazing kids and teens and see their creativity first-hand. I'm a huge believer that a happy person is a health person and if someone can share and help another explore the arts (visual,music, theater, and fashion) it will only enrich our society and make us even more human, it's truly a wonderful thing. Thank you The Art of Elysium, it's been an unforgettable journey.

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 Joan66

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with The Art of Elysium for many years now. Not only does it bring joy to the populations served, the experience provides the artist a chance to be reminded of a their greater purpose.
A circle of giving. A truly full circle charity. Thumbs WAY up!

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

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.

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!

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with AofE for years, and I am always so humbled by the children they serve. Its an amazing organization that brings joy and a creative outlet to kids that are suffering, and always reminds those who volunteer about the things that are really important in life.