The Arts and Education Council awarded 13 organizations a total of $115,000 in funding through the Arts and Healing Initiative, a new program, in partnership with Missouri Foundation for Health, aimed at increasing the capacity to heal through the arts.
“I’m thankful for the support of Missouri Foundation for Health, who made this initiative possible and for the additional support from Crawford Taylor Foundation, Missouri Arts Council, Marillac Mission Fund, Graybar and Church on the Rock,” said Cynthia A. Prost, Arts and Education Council president and CEO.
In the Angel Band Project Telehealth Music Therapy for Survivors, board-certified music therapists with experience in trauma will conduct music therapy programs with survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence.
Arts as Healing Foundation Creative Outreach Program will provide virtual and in-person art classes customized for two organizations in the St. Louis area: Pink Ribbon Girls, working with breast and gynecologic cancer patients, and the City of Ferguson, focusing on community residents with chronic illnesses.
A Call to Conscience Celebration of Survival Project will use the arts, including theater, visual art and narrative storytelling, to provide information, resources, opportunity and access to restorative health.
Fathers and Families Support Center Youth Leadership and Development Program provides integrated services and activities that reduce high-risk behaviors and increased self-sufficiency of youth, specifically between the ages of 14-24 with assistance and guidance from mentors.
Girls Inc. Girls and Images of Healing will use girl-generated photography inspired by what they “see” as relevant and healing about their homes, families and community. Girls in grades 8-12 will receive disposable cameras, learn photography techniques and be supported by experienced photographers.
Good Journey Development Foundation Xpress U Thru Art will allow young people to explore trauma, oppression, emotions, resiliency, the ability to develop self-care, to develop community care, and ability to positively project internally and externally through the creation of art.
For the Jazz St. Louis Beat NF: A Jazz Music Motor Therapy Program for Toddlers with Special Needs, Washington University Neurofibromatosis (NF) Center has developed a one-of-a-kind jazz music motor therapy program that focuses on frequently delayed skills in young children with NF1, in partnership with Jazz St. Louis educational staff and St. Louis Children’s Hospital Therapy Services practitioners.
MindsEye Pandemic Long-Distance Audio Description Network (PLAN) will build on the success of the Audio Description Program and the Arts and Culture Accessibility Cooperative in improving quality of life and community connection of people in our region with a visual disability. This initiative will translate aspects of these programs into in-home access to ensure that patrons with a visual disability have access to the power of the arts, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Saint Louis University Radical Forgiveness and Radical Imagination with the Justice Fleet is a mobile, social justice, pop up museum that fosters communal healing through art, dialogue, and play, expanding safe access to the arts and healing through interactive exhibits.
SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation Dance Therapy will help patients improve self-esteem and body image, develop effective communication skills and relationships, expand their movement, gain insights into patterns of behavior and create new options for coping with problems.
St. Louis ArtWorks Art Therapy will be provided to participants in individual art therapy sessions at St. Louis Art Works. Their art therapist will meet with each participant at the start of every program to identify and address barriers and to engage with participants throughout the program to address issues identified by apprentices.
St. Louis Crisis Nursery Healing Hearts provides critical art and expressive play interventions for children between the ages of 3-12 years whose families are facing challenges such as homelessness/transiency, domestic violence, extreme poverty, parental substance abuse, and significant parental health issues. Each participating child will receive their own art supply kit, delivered to their home or shelter and will be led through art and expressive play activities virtually.
Prison Performing Arts’ The Healing Power of Telling Your Story allows individuals completing their sentences at the Transition Center of St. Louis, a community reentry facility in North City operated by the Missouri Department of Corrections, opportunities for self-paced, hands-on learning in their pursuit of self-awareness and healing.
“We believe the arts have a critical role in improving an individual’s health and social well-being,” said Prost. “This initiative was needed in our community even before the spread of COVID-19, but now more than ever people will look for ways to heal, emotionally and physically. As our arts community continues to find innovative ways to lift our community during the pandemic, we know that they will find innovative ways to heal through the arts.”
For more information about the Arts and Education Council and the Arts and Healing Initiative, visit KeepArtHappening.org.