My last blog talked about mental health programs that emphasized Art as a means toward recovery. I had wanted to add the Art Works Gallery in Riverside, California, to that list; but I could not find an active page on the web and concluded sadly that they were defunct.
Good news, however. I received an email from their Services Coordinator, and they are very much alive and well, though their web presence seems to be in some sort of transition. Let me tell you about them, as an addition to my earlier list of resources.
Art Works and Recovery Art Corps is one arm of the Jefferson Transitional Programs, a respected long-time recovery system. The only URL I have at the moment is www.jtp.friends.org; perhaps the link there to the Art Works program will be working again by the time I post this. The gallery is on 3741 6th Street in Riverside, and is open Monday through Saturday. Their classes and activities for October alone included collage, painting small-scale items, finger weaving, and ‘zines and journalling, to name a few. They also opened an exhibit in October oriented toward empowerment of the artists associated with the gallery. Their latest flyer announces “We believe in the wellness and healing that art so often brings to artists in every genre...we have seen countless artists, writers, craftsmen, actors and musicians find meaning and purpose through...artistic endeavors.” Amen to that!
If you’re anywhere near Riverside and not yet involved with this center, stop by the gallery at 10:30 on Thursdays to sign up. They can be reached at (951) 683-1279, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
My understanding is that this project is supported by funds from the California Mental Health Services Act which was passed a few years ago. Those funds are likely to be differently distributed soon due to a recent bill (I believe it’s AB100 but don’t quote me) that gives control of these funds less to the State and Administrative level and more to the County level, down where the action really takes place and the needs are better known. Some programs are bound to be shuffled around and defunded, but it is to be hoped Art Works will carry on.
More news on the reshuffling when I figure it out a little better; stay tuned.
Deborah is a public speaker and the author of Is There Room for Me, Too? 12 Steps & 12 Strategies for Coping with Mental Illness. She has also published two romantic comedies. All three books are available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, Kindle Editions, iBooks, and other major vendors; or you can order them from your local bookstore. Visit her web page at www.lafruche.net, or see her catalog at www.lastlaughproductions.net.