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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

Natascha S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with AOE has been super rewarding, I was nervous at first, but as soon as you see the kids you are completely consumed by making art with them, seeing them smile and getting into the project! It always makes my day, i would highly suggest signing up to volunteer!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with The Art of Elysium for years and I am consistently impressed with the passion and dedication displayed by the entire staff. Every AOE staff member is as inspiring as the next. Get involved if you can - I promise you it will change your life.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love working with Art of Elysium. They make it so easy for me to share my music with the kids at the hospital. It's profound to be able to bring art and music to otherwise somewhat cold and clinical environment and I think its so cool that Art of Elysium brings all different artistic mediums to them and allows and encourages them to participate. All kids should get to experience music and art all the time, but especially these kids. It's so important that they get some fun too!

If I get to be even a tiny part of that and brightening up their day with a distraction or something other than doctors and medicine and machines, then I feel like a million bucks and Im just really glad that there's a great structured system for AOE in place to make it so easy to do with out getting in the way of their medical treatment or being disruptive.

The staff is very friendly and all that's required is one orientation. So easy to do.

Dean4

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I wrote about my experience with Art of Elysium on my website:

http://www.daedesign.com/archives/2101

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the great things about The Art of Elysium is the emphasis on encouraging those touched by illness to participate and to CREATE -- over my many years of volunteering as a writer, actor, and improv performer, I have been directed by children of all ages (including their parents and other family members) to be a pirate searching the ocean for bumblebees, an elephant looking for his daughter in a secret cave under Disneyland, a bad guy who turns all of the ice cream in Los Angeles into broccoli, a tiny, tiny, tiny little boy who can only communicate by clapping, a surgeon who also happens to be King of the Parasaurolohuses, and countless other incredible characters in creative settings. The joy shared by all during The Art of Elysium's programs is palpable and unforgettable.

Katie70

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been doing workshops and bedside visits with The Art of Elysium for several years now and honestly I am honored to be a part of such an amazing group of loving and talented individuals ... I am blessed every time I get to work with them ... They absolutely do make a huge difference in the lives of the children and families we visit. They have an incredible hands on outreach into our community that I have not seen with any other organization

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with the Art of Elysium for about two years now. I always leave after volunteering feeling amazing. I am so honored to be associated with an organization that does such incredible and inspiring work. Art truly heals, not just for the individuals and families being served by this organization, but for the volunteers as well. In addition, The leadership is incredible and compassionate. I have only volunteered for the art side (as opposed to the drama and music portions), but I can say without a doubt that Leslie and Krista are two of the most wonderful people I have met and worked with. Volunteering with them has changed my life for the better, and the Art of Elysium deserves to be recognized for the valuable service that they offer.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I have been volunteering with The Art of Elysium since we first met them around 6 months ago. Each and every event has been inspiring, interesting and FUN!!! The organization brings such joy to all of the kids and their families and we are truly honored to be a part of it. My next event is this Thursday and I can not wait!!! :)

Oded K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with The Art of Elysium for a while now and I thank God for finding them. The work they do by helping kids in hospitals and in specialty schools is remarkable and it's making a difference in those kids lives, in my life and thus making the world a better place!

elliott

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Such a great organization. Well-organized with great staff. They really respect and show so much appreciation for their volunteers. It is always a pleasure to work with The Art of Elysium, and I have had so many moving experiences in my years of volunteering with them!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Art of Elysium is the best non-profit I've ever worked with!

I've always wanted to volunteer my time to a worthy cause, but found so many organizations sadly disorganized and difficult to work with.

I've volunteered regularly with the Art of Elysium for 3 years now, and can truly say they are a GREAT organization!

They have AMAZING people working for them, are really well-organized, and take great care of their volunteers...and deeply respect and appreciate the people who volunteer their time..

And of course they are doing fantastic work!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I attended the orientation meeting and am really looking forward to participating with this wonderful organization! The meeting was very casual, friendly, and welcoming.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

AOE rocks and is one of the best non-profits around. The importance of creativity to motivate and inspire can sometimes be over looked. AOE provides inspiration and delivers hope.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

AOE is a great charity. It brings joy to everyone involved the kids, the parents and the volunteers.

Victor D.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Years back a close friend of mine turned me onto the work of AOE. I remember clearly saying to myself wow what a great idea. I one day would like to do that. Several years passed since that event the seed was planted. Call it maturity or what not I found myself in a place in my life where I deeply recognized the value of being of service and of service work to those around me. I thought for years that money and donations were the solution but in my experience there is nothing more gratifying than being hands on and sharing an experience with another one person/parent and or child. I am grateful to the AOE for giving beyond the scope of their mission, and giving me as well an avenue to which I may also find joy, peace, gratitude and love.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Every time I volunteer with The Art of Elysium I walk out feeling inspired and grateful. Inspired by the kids who are so excited to create and grateful for the love and life that surround me. Despite the sadness and weight of many of the stories, the children are eager to learn and grow, to smile and to laugh. The perspective and insight into different worlds and experiences they provide is truly invaluable. The lovely people who run the organization are tireless in their passion that art can be a fun conduit to make a difference in so many young people's hearts.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Fantastic. What a loving, giving organization. Channeling the creative force here in Los Angeles in a positive way.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For over two years my girlfriend and I have been playing music bedside for children in hospitals and care facilities. This a great organization to work with, they are staffed by fantastic caring people and they do wonderful work!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We all know that the creative arts are inspiring, but Art of Elysium has taught us that they are also healing. I am incredibly grateful to Art of Elysium for creating an accessible outlet for artists to volunteer their time and craft to such inspiring and amazing children. I always feel that everyone's day is brighter when Art of Elysium enters a room, from the children, to volunteers, to hospital staff and parents. The power of the smiles Art of Elysium generates inspire everyone involved from one visit to the next.


Alicyn P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've had an amazing experience volunteering with Art of Elysium. They seek to inspire both children who are suffering from medical conditions as well as the artists who volunteer. It has been a joy and a blessing to donate time to a well-organized and thoughtful organization and to brighten the lives of children who are in need of distraction and creative stimulation.

Everyone loves art! This is a fantastic way to see first hand how art makes a difference all our lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It has been a pleasure for me to be a volunteer for Art of Elysium. I've been able to do art projects with kids that are going through serious medical procedure. I can say that my experiences as a volunteer have been magical. They go from feeling inspired by a kid that has an amazing spirits despite his illness and loves drawing with the art of Elysium volunteers, to help a kid that doesn't feel inspired to play with us and by the time you leave he has finished his painting and even better he has a smile on his face. I love art of elysium and there work because we help this kids escape their reality and be creative. And when you are creating, you are in the moment and when you are living in the moment you are happy. Every time I leave, I don't feel sad about what they are going through, I feel compassionate and happy to play with them and make them laugh.