Recipient: Arts Therapy Initiative
The focus area for 2017 was the arts, with a particular focus on art that engages underserved communities in nontraditional spaces.
Newcomer Art Therapy Project
Art therapy helps refugees share stories & heal from trauma. It transcends language barriers & helps community members integrate & thrive!
Art Therapy—an emerging professional field—is an effective, ethical, and culturally-appropriate approach to help diverse populations express themselves, process trauma, connect with others, and cultivate hope for the future. The Art Therapy Institute (ATI) proposes bringing weekly art therapy services to 150 refugees and immigrants across the Triangle. Although research suggests a higher prevalence of mental health symptoms and disorders among refugees and immigrants as compared to the general population, due to myriad barriers, these newcomers generally underutilize conventional mental health services. In this context, host communities must find creative ways to address the mental health needs, where these exist, of these populations. ATI’s Masters-level therapists will provide 16 weeks of individual and group art therapy sessions to newcomers in familiar locales, including schools and community-based health and resettlement centers. Funding for this project is critical due to recent state and federal budget cuts to the arts, healthcare, and newcomer programming.