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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

Leyn Q.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was great working with the kids. I think it is a great program for the children and the parents, It gives them a break from their hospital life. It also gives us the volunteers the chance to participate in their recovery through all the different modalities that they get to experience. Also, The Art of Elysium staff and Hospital staff are very sweet and easy to work with.
I am grateful for the opportunity to share my Fabricated Hearts with all of them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Art of Elysium is one of the most organized, hands-on groups I've ever volunteered with. After attending the orientation, they let me jump right in and start signing up for volunteer opportunities. Even with my busy schedule, there are plenty of events/workshops that I'm available for. It was so much fun to see the smiles on the faces of patients and family members at the Shriners Halloween Party. And I have to say, I never thought I would be singing Disney songs karaoke-style en Espanol with a clown wig on! Every experience has been unique, memorable, and REAL - this isn't a group that asks you to put on a t-chirt and stand on the sidelines, or wander around soliciting donations. You are right there with the kids, helping them forget their problems and learn and grow as people and artists. Thank you so much Art of Elysium!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for Art of Elysium for about a year now. I absolutely love this organization. I was looking to volunteer for an organization that encourages volunteers to donate their talents on a personalized level. It is a very rewarding feeling to be able to work with these amazing kids and help bring their spirits up. :)

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was looking for an organization to give my talents to in LA. I have been blessed and wanted to help others. I had no idea what I was asking for. When I met the Art of Elysium my life was changed. From the first time I played music at the Children's Hospital for kids that could not get out into the general assembly, I knew this was important. Some of the children are in a hospital bed all of the time and the costs can be so high that sometimes their folks can't always miss work to be by their side. AOE brings the music and arts to them. I have played music in room to room visits where the emotional outpouring of thankfulness was overwhelming. I have led song-writing workshops with children that if not for this great charity, may have never written a song. The therapeutic side of this gift is immeasurable as it gives the kids a voice, a way to show their friends and family how much they love and appreciate them. This is an amazing group filled with loving folks that care about others a great deal. Bringing love through music and the arts to children that other wise would not get this is an amazing gift.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a magical charity that has allowed me to play music for children with serious medical challenges. I cannot tell you how much joy Art of Elysium brings to kids. I have seen it with my own eyes!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working with The Art of Elysium for 6 years now volunteering my time whenever I am in Los Angeles and New York. To see what these children face on a daily basis and the strength within all of them is truly amazing. It is unlike anything I have ever seen or read about before and moves you in a spiritual way that is undeniable. i am a fine artist, and to be able to share what I do with these children and let them be an extension of my art through their own eyes has become something that I just can't live without. I cherish this organization and what they do and am most humbled to be a part of this wonderful family of artists.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There is nothing more I love then getting in the hospital and doing art, acting, or music with the kids. I really enjoy going to USC and working with all the children there. They really inspire the creative side of me and make such a difference in my own life. I am very grateful to have this organization as a part of my life and am always speaking about it to everyone I know

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I LOVE the Art of Elysium! I attended one of their fundraisers and just had the best time possible! The friendly staff answered any questions and their mission and message is truly inspiring! I hope I will get to attend another event sooner rather than later!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was first introduced to AOE by a friend who works there. I quickly became an active volunteer after hearing and seeing the passion behind the charity not only in those that work there but the ones that they serve as well. Each event or fundraiser I have attended has been an absolute blast and very well put together.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love the Art of Elysium and what they do. The use of art to enhance the lives of ill children is an amazing concept. The fact the A of E has been doing this for 13 years is a tribute to how important art is in everyone's life. The fact that the founder of this charity is my daughter, has no bearing on my review (well maybe just a little). Keep on making them smile..................

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A friend of mine turned me into the Art of Elysium. I went to an orientation a few years ago and have been volunteering since. I'm a singer/guitar player and I go to children’s hospitals to sing for the kids. It has been an amazing experience thanks to the generous and caring individuals at AOE, but also in no small part thanks to the amazing children I have met over the years. AOE is an incredible organization and I'm very proud to be associated with them. I encourage anyone reading this to look them up and get involved. Best decision I've ever made!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Art of Elysium is a fantastic charity. I volunteer mostly with the Fashion Department and really enjoy making jewelry with the kids. It's always amazing to me how many different and creative ideas these kids have!



A great way to give back to the world and to share artistic expression.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There is nothing more rewarding than working with Children through The Art of Elysium. Art offers children going through medical treatment a much needed break from the often grim realities of their day to day life. AOE let's me be a part of that process and i am so grateful.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began working with the art of Elysium approximately five years ago. I was asked to play a benefit by the club I was performing a weekly standing show at, for the Art of Elysium. I had no idea who they were or what the they were about but I agreed to play as a favor to the club owner.
As fate would have it I've been working with AoE ever since. The experience has brought a perspective to my life which I am grateful for on a daily basis. the entire staff is a pleasure to work with and their goal of bringing some joy to the lives of the children in the various facilities is genuine and great.
The staff I have worked with know so many of the Children by name and over the years, so have I.

There's a verse in the Bihagivat Ghita which says "step out into the world and give of yourself to help others. Do not give to make yourself feel better about yourself but do it for God can not be there alone."
AoE is a perfect example of this giving

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a big advocate of giving back. I try to volunteer with different local nonprofits in my area as much as possible. NONE have impacted me the way Art of E has. Everything about the organization inspires me....to be better person, a better artist, a better loved one to my friends and family....and to be thankful for everything that comes in and out of my life, no matter how long!

I get so excited about planning my art projects and getting to share them with the kids in the hospitals. They're all amazing, talented, sweet children that get so happy and excited about the Art of E being there. It's awesome to see them forget about their pain and problems, even if just for a couple hours, and get so wrapped up in the art! Thank you Art of Elysium for giving me the opportunity to create art w the kids.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A songwriter friend of mine introduced me to The Art of Elysium a few months back, and I've been really enjoying entertaining the kids at hospitals. It's been more rewarding than I can put into words. And the organization has done a nice job of making me feel welcome as a volunteer. Highly recommend this organization!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with The Art of Elysium for over 10 years. It is an amazing organization that helps terminally ill children cope with their every day lives through the arts. Artists and/or musicians come into the hospital and brighten their days and bring smiles to their faces and hopefully gives them at least a momentary reprieve from their suffering. My experience in the hospital has been life altering. Giving service is clearly the most selfless gift that you can give. Getting out of your self and forgetting about your own worries and focusing on children that need a brighter day has truly been one of the most uplifting experiences I have had. Being there for the children has been unforgettable.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an organization that everyone should know about and be involved with. I have seen first hand the events and how the artists have impacted these children's lives and it is truly inspiring. Last year at "Pieces of Heaven" art auction, I saw the generous donations of so many working artists that gave their work to ensure the hospital programs continue. The fact that the art supports the volunteer experience is truly amazing.

Brel B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked in hospitals with these guys and their enthusiasm and dedication to positive change is seriously inspiring.

Mike S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Jack Lemmon said something wonderful in his movie "Tuesdays with Morrie"...we must love one another, or die.

Thanks to The Art of Elysium, we can love one another, that's what life's all about.

The Art of Elysium is truly a blessing. They have a very human, immediate positive effect on people, that will last a lifetime.

The way we "feel" inside creates the world we live in. So if playing my Guitar and singing a few songs to kids in the hospital makes them "feel" a little bit better, even for just a moment, The Art of Elysium and I have done our job as human beings.

Nura Creitz is amazing to work with. Not only does she work around my schedule, she also is incredibly positive, encouraging, and makes you comfortable in an environment that is sometimes challenging.

From the 1st class of what the Org is about, to your first hospital experience and after, the staff is professional, warm, and extremely helpful. I'm honored and proud to be a part of such an incredible organization. Thanks to everyone at The Art of Elysium!