The Arts and Education Council announced today that 11 organizations have been awarded a total of $135,000 in funding through the Arts and Healing Initiative, a program aimed at increasing the capacity to heal through the arts.  This initiative, which was launched in partnership with Missouri Foundation for Health in 2020, aims to improve the quality of life for people throughout St. Louis City and County in its first year, and other Missouri counties in subsequent years.

The Arts and Education Council believes that healing is a transformative process of meaning, well-being or wholeness that reduces suffering or other factors that contribute to a low quality of life. Programs such Arts Rolla’s Art Therapy will market a series of art classes to the people in the region who serve as caregivers and Hope Creates’ Arts and Healing Program will offer youth who are the children of parents in recovery from substance use disorder a multidisciplinary arts healing experience.

“The arts are known and proven to be an aid in healing,” said Lyah LeFlore-Ituen, Arts and Education Council president and CEO. “While it can be seen as nontraditional, we are in the third year of showing how normal this path to wellness can be. I am so proud to partner with these organizations who are doing the work to create a better city for us all. I’m thankful for the support of Missouri Foundation for Health and the additional support from Missouri Arts Council who made this initiative possible.”

The organizations and programs that have been awarded 2022-2023 Arts and Healing Initiative grants are, in alphabetical order:

  • A Call to Conscience Emerging from the Pandemic will utilize writing workshops, public performances, and a panel discussion with representatives from the Behavior Health Institute and the Black Healing Collective to provide a cathartic outlet for participants to express mental, emotional, economic, and social experience in surviving the pandemic.
  • Artists First Artists First for Veterans will use an expressive arts-based therapeutic curriculum and incorporate evidence-based practices to support and strengthen recovery, rehabilitation and overall well-being of veterans as they transition to a successful civilian life.
  • Arts Rolla Early Stage Social Engagement for Alzheimer’s and Caregivers: With the help of the Alzheimer's Association and Phelps Health, Arts Rolla will market a series of art classes to provide an outlet and socialization for people with the early stages of Alzheimer's and their caregivers.
  • Consuming Kinetics Dance Co. Vitality through Movement is a movement arts education program for older adults and those with different physical abilities that will encourage creativity, strength and energy while also building community.
  • The Covering House Art Therapy for Youth Survivors of Sex Trafficking provide services for youth survivors of sex trafficking including individual and group therapy, specialized therapy (equine and horticultural), expressive arts, a full in-house education program, case management, life-skills training, nutrition, recreation, experiential learning and sensory integration.
  • Hope Creates Make Your M.A.R.C. – Music. Art. Recovery. Connection. will partner with St. Louis Classical Guitar (SLCG) and Child and Family Empowerment Center (CAFEC) to offer youth who are the children of parents in recovery from substance use disorder a multidisciplinary arts healing experience.
  • Intersect Arts Center Integrated Art Therapy services will integrate into the various existing afterschool, youth mentorship, teen apprenticeship, and professional and curriculum development programs with a focus on social and emotional skill development through the arts.
  • MindsEye Radio Access to Public Artworks: Inclusion through Audio Description (APA:IAD) will take a multifaceted approach to help make local art accessible through their Audio Description Program.
  • Prison Performing Arts The Healing Power of Telling Your Story will offer six weeks of theatre, visual arts, and writing workshops, a culminating performance and the opportunity to engage in the Alumni Company to incarcerated participants as a means of working through trauma and building resilience, self-confidence, and creative skills as a healthy response to the stress of re-entry.
  • Ragtag Film Society Show Me Series will co-curate a series of free monthly film screenings and community conversations with its five Community Partners to invite diverse races, ethnicities, cultures and genders to discuss larger community issues.
  • The Women’s Safe House The Art Empowerment Project (AEP) will collaborate with John Burroughs School to offer residents a space to create visual art and display their artwork in an exhibition gallery setting.

Applications were evaluated by the Arts and Healing Initiative Advisory Panel comprised of leaders in the arts, healthcare and research fields.

View logos and photos here.

The Arts and Healing Initiative is supported with lead funding from Missouri Foundation for Health and additional funding from the Missouri Arts Council and Graybar.

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