Philanthropist Laurie M. Tisch announced today that 14 New York-based organizations will receive grants under the new Enlightenment Fund Arts and mental health program, an expansion of its Arts in Health initiative. The Arts and Mental Health program is designed to increase access to mental health services for communities with long-standing health disparities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than 120 arts and culture organizations responded to the Illumination Fund’s open call for tenders for small and medium-sized organizations with budgets of less than $ 5 million. Organizations that receive grants work in communities that have often been neglected and underfunded to address the mental health issues of their populations.
“After two long years, with so many tragic illnesses and deaths, data shows the COVID-19 pandemic has created a mental health pandemic in its wake, particularly evident among communities already struggling to overcome other challenges. “, said Laurie Tisch, founder and president of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund. “More people than ever need mental health services and we want to make sure our most vulnerable communities have access to programs that can help alleviate their suffering and build their resilience. “
The COVID 19 pandemic has blatantly highlighted long-standing health disparities that hurt historically marginalized and vulnerable people, including communities of color and people with pre-existing social, economic and health challenges .
Disproportionate rates of infection, hospitalizations and death have been widely reported, however, less attention has been paid to the uneven burden of impacts on mental health. Similar inequalities based on race and ethnicity are exacerbated by circumstances such as unemployment, domestic violence, homelessness, pre-existing mental illness, disabilities and immigration status. Grants in the Arts and mental health aim to use the arts as a vehicle to address mental health challenges and address the stigma that is a barrier to seeking help.
Organizations receiving grants deploy a variety of strategies, including:
- narrative development and group storytelling facilitated;
- the development of programs based on music, dance and theater with facets targeted at mental health;
- the sewing of fabrics by refugees and survivors of gender-based violence;
- new partnerships with mental health organizations or licensed providers;
- integrate mental health counselors on staff and program participants;
- provide training in trauma-informed practices;
- increasing access to therapy for performing artists and arts workers; and
- develop public performances as a vehicle for de-stigmatizing mental health problems and raising awareness of resources.
The beneficiaries of the Illumination Fund’s Arts & Mental Health program are:
Common threads: Creation of two groups of refugee women and survivors of gender-based violence in partnership with the Bellevue program for survivors of torture and the City College psychological center, using the inherently healing properties of creating story paintings in a circle sewing with other survivors. Participants can also show their work in exhibitions that raise awareness about gender-based violence.
Dances for a variable population: Developping Moving Minds, an adaptation of their Movement Speaks program: adding a mental health specialist to expand and improve dance and movement workshops for seniors in Harlem, Bronx, Queens in the neighborhood Chinese and the Lower East Side.
Dance / New York: New programs to provide mental health support to staff of the organization, which serves thousands of dancers, dance workers and dance organizations.
Darkness RISING project: Musical performances and lively discussions for the black community and cross members of the LGBTQIA community, the Latinx community, formerly incarcerated people and artists who have lived with mental health issues.
DE-CRUIT Veterans Program: Drama workshops using Shakespearean plays to spark dialogue and address the mental health needs of vulnerable military veterans, with a particular focus on veterans of color, low-income veterans and incarcerated veterans.
ID Studio Theater: To expand the Bilingual Healing Arts Initiative, an innovative and culturally relevant artistic programming that includes music, dance, theater, movement, meditation, memories and art, developed in partnership with hospitals and health centers in the South Bronx.
Indie space: Community care program and mental health resources serving individual artists with disabilities and immigrants from BIPOC, LGBTQIA +.
Kundiman: Trauma-informed creative writing workshops and annual retreat for the Asian American writing community.
Pregones Puerto Rican Traveling Theater: Development of Abrazo: The Embrace for Mental Health, a new interactive theater project to raise community awareness about post-COVID mental health crises and to enable local New York participants to seek and access mental health services existing.
Redhawk Native Arts Council: Serving members of New York’s Indigenous community, the Redhawk Native American Arts Council created Healing Through Indigenous Culture and Traditions to provide Indigenous people the opportunity to create traditional instruments and learn songs and dances to foster the connections between traditions and using music and song as a medium to tell stories about healing and Indigenous traditions that have been practiced for thousands of years.
Showcase for art and architecture in collaboration with Land, DYKWTCA (Do You Know Where the Children Are, co-organized by artists-activists Marie ellen Carroll and Lucas Michel), The architecture of Reddymade, and Dr Jessica Marshall: Development of “RSVP” (Please respond), which will support refugee and immigrant children and families in the Bronx with a specially designed trauma response program involving the creation of a portable structure in the health services mental, medical and legal of Terra Firma. clinic to organize arts-based mental health activities for adults and youth.
ViBe theater experience: Wellness program and staff training in mental health strategies for programs for girls, young women and non-binary colored youth.