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Review for Awakenings Project, Wheaton, IL, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I'm writing this review with some sense of bias--I'm the current President of the Awakenings Project and in 1996 and 1997 I got the ball rolling, as the founder you might say. I think the story of how Awakenings was founded speaks volumes for the wonderful and important work that we do. I appoached the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Illinois with a proposal to display an art show at their annual conference in 1997 where all the exhibitors would have mental illnesses. NAMI agreed. As a person with serious mental illness, I was just learning of the power of art on the self perception and self esteem of people who have mental illnesses. Expecting only a dozen artists to come out for that first show we got four times that many! The show was a terrific success! The next year we had another, and another after that. The momentum grew such that The Awakenings Project became an organization in its own right. Today very many of the people who started Awakenings are still with it! It's taken a life of its own and it guided the lives of many, including mine.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've helped find myself as a photographer and writer and I've made great friends.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If I had to change this organization I would seek funding to support a small staff.

Role:  Volunteer & I founded and financed an art show for people with mental illnesses which became The Awakenings Project.