All News is Big News in 2012 for ArtReach: Many Big ‘Firsts’ Fire Up the Foundation From the Year Gone By!
“Real art connects. It connects us with ourselves and one another. It leads us to discover new truths and helps to illuminate the humanity we share.” -Queen Rania-Al Abdullah of Jordan
Message from the Founder:
As we share a time of struggle for so many, we also share hope for this New Year to bring joy and possibility for a better future. Despite the challenges during 2011, The ArtReach Foundation has met them and brought its healing workshops to those who need us at home or abroad. Whether it is our newly registered operation in Jordan, or our domestic initiative called “Project America,” we continue to stay the course to deliver excellent programs that help make lives a bit better through the use of the creative arts.
With the outstanding leadership of those volunteers in our organization, supportive donors around the world and you as our friends, we can work together in 2012 to bring a critical mass necessary for positive change. By igniting the imagination, a creative spirit will emerge through all of us.
ArtReach can help make this happen. Let’s do it together!
– Susan Anderson
ArtReach’s First Research Partnership Ready for Rigorous Scientific Study that looks at the “Science Behind the Stories”
In January of 2011, Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) became The ArtReach Foundation’s first research partner. Plans are in motion to study the ArtReach Model adapted for the care of U.S. military personnel diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Grant applications are being submitted under the leadership of Dr. Courtney Crooks, Senior Research Scientist, GTRI. This research will be a significant opportunity to investigate the science behind the many ArtReach stories of change in people’s lives.
ArtReach: Project America Team Shines at the Armed Forces Health Protection Conference
The ArtReach Foundation was thrilled to present at this conference in Hampton, Virginia in March, 2011. The AFHPC addressed some of the challenges associated with military public health issues today. Well-received and with enthusiasm, the ArtReach team went on to present again at the new National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE), in Bethesda, MD.
This major military research facility has unique capabilities that provide cutting edge treatment and education of military personnel and families dealing with the wounds from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Psychological Health (PH) conditions.
“The strategic combination of creative art and therapy is invaluable. I admire your passion for our soldiers and your devotion to restoring broken spirits, global neighbors, innocent children, and victims of natural disaster. I salute the members of your organization and wish you success.”
- Kasim Reed, Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia
Celebrated Congressman John Lewis writes to the National Guard Bureau in DC on behalf of ArtReach: Project America
ArtReach: Project America was fortunate to establish a collaboration with the GA National Guard under the leadership of Major General Maria Britt. ArtReach is appreciative of the endorsements by Georgia Congressman John Lewis and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, in its effort to help our GA veterans and their families who are in need. In response to Congressman Lewis’ letter, Captain Joan F. Hunter, Director of Psychological Health, NGB Joint Surgeon’s Office, replied “I wish to applaud your efforts and initiatives in positively impacting the lives of our Warriors and Families… Your success in Bosnia, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and now the pilot in Georgia, are extremely impressive.”
The ArtReach Foundation Held Its First Conference
A highly important event for ArtReach: Project America, titled Creative Arts and Technology Innovations: Bridging Military and Civilian Communities Through Ethical Mental Health Practice took place in July. Kudos go to Christi O’Hara, George Wieder, Karen McCarty, Bill Howerton, Barbara Bazemore, and Miranda Smith for their hard work to make this a great success. Many thanks to GTRI as our major sponsor.
ArtReach: Project America Workshops are in Full Swing!
In 2011, ArtReach: Project America served over 500 of our military, their families and clinicians through participating in our workshops. Our model of care was also demonstrated through multiply presentations to over a thousand people.
ArtReach: Project America Trainers led programs at retreats throughout the year such as those for the Fort Gordon Warrior Transition Battalion where military families could reconnect, relax, and rejuvenate at Camp Bishop Gravatt, Aiken, SC. Likewise, ArtReach partners with others such as the National Military Family Assn. and Camp Twin Lakes to host workshops several times throughout the year.
“Art for me is my language… it’s a means for a need to communicate the true feelings. I hope that people will understand me and they will all feel the same language.” -Nawal Abdullah
ArtReach found itself saying good-bye to several very dear friends dedicated to our mission. Daniel Steppe, an ArtReach Trainer, who served as former Co-Chair to Project America, has now relocated to Texas; and John Petty, who served on the ArtReach: Project America Development Committee, died September 29th. We will miss them and never forget their outstanding service.
Our Office Manager, Miranda Smith, is no longer with us (in that capacity) as she is actively working to build her professional practice as an art therapist. She is, however, still very involved as an ArtReach Trainer in leading workshops.
A special thanks to Lori Heinsman for her dedicated leadership to our organization. Lori leaves our board after many years of service that began in 2006, when she decided to attend our ArtReach: Project Lebanon workshop in Rhodes. According to Lori, “we rocked her world, and helped her to understand the power of our method to help heal others.” Little did she know how important a role she would play in helping our mission to be successful. Since then she has served in many capacities including a major donor, a Board Director, and most recently an Acting Chair succeeding Cal Johnson last January from that position. We are grateful for all of the years Lori has been by our side and helped us to grow.
She has now stepped down as we welcome Christopher Morley, our newly elected Chairman of the ArtReach Board of Directors.
Welcome to our new Chair, Christopher!
Astounding Awards for ArtReach’s Founder
December was filled with gratitude and honors as Susan Anderson received two remarkable awards within three days on both the East and West coasts!
Both awards were created to recognize individuals for improving their communities and the world with their energy and passion.
First receiving recognition as a 2011 Purpose Prize Fellow at a ceremony held in Sausalito, CA, and then to return home to Atlanta where she received the Alif Institute Award for Distinguished Service.
“Susan Anderson has an incredible entrepreneurial spirit. She shows what’s possible in an aging society when people combine their passion and purpose for the social good..” -Alexander Kent, Exec. Director, Civic Ventures
ArtReach Receives a Technology Facelift
Thanks to designer Sinoun Chea of ShiftWeb Solutions, the Foundation’s website has been overhauled to reflect the bright success of this past year, and made easy to navigate. John San Miguel produced a stellar new video and interview that was launched with the Purpose Prize announcement.
Student Intern, Zeena Lattouf and friend Grant Kelly created a video to promote our work in the Middle East, which can be found here. ArtReach also joined Twitter which, along with our new blog, is helping to spread our news alongside a message of healing and hope!
The Strength of an Ironwoman
Volunteer, Tracy Shandor, for many months promoted us through her blog and a Ford Ironman Florida Triathlon that she participated in on Nov. 5th. Not only did she bring much attention to Project America (as a miltary “BRAT”), she also successfully completed the Ironman beating her previous times, and raised lots of money for our cause! “Raising money for ArtReach as part of my IM would be my way to contribute to an organization that so greatly impacted those around me.”
“It bypasses the very strong wall that they have put up to keep from thinking about things. Because you’re not directly asking what happened over there, you’re asking, ‘draw something, and let your emotions help.’” -Dr. John Lochridge, MD, Psychiatrist
ArtReach in WebMD and Fox5 Stories!
ArtReach in Print Soon
Christopher Morley, Christi O’Hara, and Susan Anderson authored a chapter about the ArtReach Model and the use of the creative arts in healing that will be incuded in a forthcoming book, Expanding the Circle of Healing, to be released this year. It is co-edited by Ray Scurfield, DSW, one of the ArtReach: Project America Advisors.
The ArtReach Foundation, endorsed and welcomed by the Government of Jordan, is officially registered as a nonprofit thanks to the King Abdullah II Fund for Development
In the summer of 2009, ArtReach presented to KAFD its desire to become a humanitarian effort in Jordan. As a result, KAFD became an important resource in “incubating” the Foundation’s beginning in that country. In April 2011, The ArtReach Foundation received its registration as a Jordanian NGO.
Much Gratitude Goes to our Patron HRH Princess Rajwa Bint Ali
Princess Rajwa has always believed strongly in, and supported, our effort to make a difference in the lives of children in Jordan and that region. ArtReach acknowledges all that the Princess and our International Board have done since 2009, and how important it is to continue our training through the Middle East Institute. As Princess Rajwa reminds us after attending the ArtReach MEI in 2010, “I speak from experience of attending a workshop and I see the value of it for our children here in Jordan.”
ArtReach Board Members Present Model to Gathering of 300 physicians in Jordan
At an invitation from the International Academy of Medicine, Christopher Morley and Susan Anderson traveled to Amman where they presented the ArtReach Model and various published clinical studies in the use of the creative arts in medicine. The event carried the purpose of sharing innovative research and visions for the future of medicine. Special thanks goes out to Dr. Omar Lattouf, a founding member of the IAM, for this opportunity.
The autumn found us welcoming ArtReach / Jordan’s first Country Operations Manager, George Theodory. He will work closely with the new Board to form a strategic plan to market and brand ArtReach in Jordan and the region.
Drum Roll Please!…
2011 ArtReach ‘Volunteer of the Year’ Goes to:
Karen McCarty for Project America! Besides managing a full-time private practice as an Atlanta Marriage and Family Therapist, she has given countless volunteer hours of her time and energy to our organization. As a Trainer and Clinical Supervisor, we are grateful for this amazing lady’s dedication.
And to Majed Yaghi for ArtReach/Jordan. A remarkable executive who truly lives the words of a song his company created in the 60′s, “I’d like to teach the World to sing in perfect harmony…” As a result of his energy, enthusiasm, and goodwill, this year ArtReach has been able to gather together those people who can work in harmony for our mission and brand in the region.
ARF is So Grateful for all contributions, but would like to recognize some of our special in-kind donors of rental space and legal services that have probably saved ARF tens of thousands of dollars throughout the year. Thanks goes to: St. Bedes Episcopal Church, Tucker, GA; Georgia Shakespeare Company, Atlanta, GA; Petit Crest Villa, Big Canoe, GA; Baking Technologies, Tucker, GA; and Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi, LLP.