Ms. Susan Anderson is Founder & CEO of The ArtReach Foundation, Inc., (ArtReach) www.artreachfoundation.org, an international non-profit dedicated to children and adults in their recovery from the traumatic effects from war, violence, or natural disaster, ArtReach offers training programs to teachers, social workers and healthcare providers. The ArtReach Model® training incorporates the creative arts therapies within a psychodynamic group process. ArtReach is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, and is also a registered NGO in Jordan.
Since 1999, Ms. Anderson has tirelessly led the Foundation that began its first years of work in Bosnia-Herzegovnia (2000-2005). Since then, she has successfully taken the organization to other countries such as Lebanon, Jordan and the U.S.
Beginning in 2006, Ms. Anderson brought ArtReach to the Middle East with its first programs for Lebanese teachers and social workers. In 2008, the first trainings were held in Jordan, and by 2010, ArtReach launched its first ME training institute for professionals throughout the region.
Concurrently, Ms. Anderson is establishing an important U.S. initiative called “ArtReach: Project America” to help U.S. military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, diagnosed with post-traumatic stress and mild-traumatic brain injuries. Project America also provides programs for their families in collaboration with other organizations.
ArtReach’s innovative approach to training is adapted to each culture served, scalable and cost-effective. A study of the Model’s efficacy will commence this year in partnership with the Georgia Tech Institute of Research.
Ms. Anderson’s dedication to global healing has been recognized by many. These are a few of the highlights:
1) Selected as 2011 Purpose Prize Fellow from Civic Ventures, San Francisco for her work as a social innovator in the second half of life.
2) A special invitation from President Clinton to attend the 2008 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, where she made a commitment to establish the ArtReach Middle East Institute in Jordan.
3) Invitation from the Royal Society of Fine Arts, Jordan, 2008-2010, where The ArtReach Foundation, as the Exclusive Presenter for a U.S. Tour of “Breaking the Veils: Women Artists from the Islamic World,” promoted dialogue, understanding and peace This exhibition opened at the Clinton Presidential Center and was shown at the Kennedy Center, Yale University, the University of Southern Mississippi and St. Catherine University, St. Paul, MN.
4) The Artemis Award in 2003, for international humanitarian service at the 8th Annual Global Forum of the Euro-American Women’s Council, in association with Women Impacting Public Policy, in Athens, Greece
5) An invitation to present ArtReach: Project Bosnia, at the 2nd International Femme Art Mediteranee (F.A.M.) Peace Forum under the auspices of UNESCO, 2002.
Ms. Anderson has also presented at the:
2011 Armed Forces Health Protection Conference;
2011 International Academy of Medicine;
2009 Harvard Social Enterprise Conference;
2009 Yale Summer Institute for Middle East Studies
George Wieder, USAF (Ret.) serves as ArtReach Project America Co-Chair and also serves on The ArtReach Foundation’s Board of Advisors. George attended Rutgers University and graduated with a Journalism degree and a commission in the United States Air Force. While stationed at the Pentagon, he earned a Masters degree in Public Relations from American University. His 21-year career included assignments in the U.S., Germany, and Vietnam. After retirement in 1987, George spent 15 years in the cellular industry followed by 5 years with a non-profit museum. George joined the ArtReach team in 2009. He is a member of the Atlanta Kiwanis Club, the American Red Cross Blood Services Board, the Georgia Tech ROTC Advisory Group; and has been a longtime USO volunteer. George’s expression of the “creative arts” comes through hobbies of picture framing and floral designs. Additionally, he has donned the red suit and beard for more than 25 years to help spread the spirit of holiday magic.
Karimah Dillard MA, RDT
Karimah is a Registered Drama Therapist, and received her Master’s Degree in Drama Therapy from New York University and her Bachelor’s in Sociology from Vassar College. Karimah is a Primary Therapist for Willowbrooke at Tanner Medical Center’s Partial Hospitalization Program where she runs groups in the Child and Adolescent program. She is an active member of the North American Association for Drama Therapy where she serves on the Government Affairs Committee, and lobbies legislators on Capitol Hill for greater support of the arts in healthcare. Karimah is Co-Director of Training for the ArtReach Foundation, also serving as a Training Supervisor and Trainer with survivors of trauma, veterans and their families, and clinicians, both domestically and abroad. Karimah has recently been accepted to the PhD program in Expressive Therapy at Lesley University.