UCLArts and Healing

Santa Monica, CA
Joined in March 2013

About Us

UCLArts and Healing


To facilitate the use of the arts for mind-body wellness and healing in the community, as a vehicle for empowerment and transformation.


  • Offering of affordable, experiential education in the use of the arts as a process for self-discovery and deepening of connection to oneself and others. The process of creative expression reveals unconscious information that, when reflected upon and shared, can facilitate insight, emotional and physical release, empathy and group support. Creative arts processes can be used to facilitate social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development.
  • Design, implementation, and evaluation of sustainable programs, particularly in health care, educational, and recreational settings
  • Networking with mental health and health care professionals, community-based service providers, artists, caregivers, and others.
  • Partnerships with academic institutions, health care institutions, community-based organizations, schools, professional organizations, and private industry. Some examples of past and current partnerships: Remo, Inc., Los Angeles Unified School District, American Art Therapy Association, American Dance Therapy Association, American Music Therapy Association, National Association for Drama Therapy, National Association for Poetry Therapy, UCLA Tiverton House, UCLA Extension, Venice Family Clinic, Boys and Girls Club of East Los Angeles & Santa Monica, yWca Santa Monica/Westside, Cancer Support Community – West Los Angeles, Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons, Collective Voices Foundation, The Broad Stage of Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center, Virginia Avenue Project, City of Santa Monica Senior Recreation Center, Senior Arts Foundation, Wilshire Blvd. Temple.


  • To offer accessible, nonverbal and universal tools for improving individual and community health through stress reduction and social support - without any stigma of therapy.
  • To maximize the social-emotional benefits of the arts by focusing on the process of creative expression to build meaning, empathy and community.
  • To offer a means of addressing the increasing societal health care burden from chronic diseases rooted in emotions and behavior.
  • To expand possibilities for health care through tools that are easy to implement in health care, educational, and recreational settings - thereby creating a public health safety net.
  • To offer a humanizing complement to increasingly technological medical care, that can enhance the environment of medicine.
  • To secure the place of the arts in our culture by validating their health benefits and exposing youth to their transformative value through insights gained from process-oriented activities.
  • To increase access to quality resources in arts and healing, which benefits the public as well as organizational and individual service providers.

UCLArts and Healing is a collaboration between the Arts and Healing Initiative, a nonprofit organization, and the UCLA Collaborative Centers for Integrative Medicine (CCIM), which promotes education and research in complementary, alternative, and integrative approaches to health and well-being. The CCIM represents the UCLA academic integrative medicine community on a national and international


" the world of art, one can get past the usual confinements..." Reneé Emunah, Past President of the National Association for Drama Therapy

a message from the founding director

The recent national tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut underscores the need for innovative programs for social-emotional well-being. The arts allow individual expression within the context of community. Their nonverbal element makes them accessible to persons of diverse abilities. The process of creative expression evokes unconscious information that, when reflected upon and shared, can facilitate emotional well-being, build empathy, and deepen social connections. Had there been an art therapist on staff to process the disturbing middle school art work of the student responsible for the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, perhaps the whole cataclysm could have been averted.

"Out of the Box: Positive Development and Social Change through the Arts" talks about UCLArts and Healing's flagship evidence-based project Beat the Odds: Social and Emotional Skill Building Delivered in a Framework of Drumming as a case study to share with others how to maximize social-emotional benefits and youth access for those interested in developing arts programs. The piece, written for the lay public by Founding Director Ping Ho, was published online by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, as part of its as part of its Kinder and Braver World Series.

UCLArts and Healing takes an innovative approach to the arts by maximizing its benefits to the whole person (social-emotional-cognitive-physical ), which expands its value and adoption. In addition, UCLArts and Healing develops sustainable models for program delivery with strategic partners in the community.

In 2012, we offered innovative programs to the public and:

  • continued to develop a training program for Boys and Girls Club staff – using rhythm, movement, and theater-based based tools to facilitate positive engagement throughout the day – that will be made available to every club in the nation.
  • collaborated with the YWCA Santa Monica/Westside to develop "A Girl's Voice" – a daylong program to empower elementary and middle school girls to deal with the social-emotional pressures that they face.
  • brought process-oriented arts programs to schools serving at risk youth in South Los Angeles, Pasadena, and Santa Clarita Valley.
  • developed a sustainable program of creative arts therapies for mentally ill adults and youth at Step Up on Second and Daniel's Place.
  • organized a panel of representatives from the national organizations of the creative arts therapies at a major international integrative medicine conference.

In 2013, look for new developments:

  • a new certificate program and UCLA undergraduate course in maximizing social-emotional benefits of arts education
  • a new website that will feature video clips demonstrating our work and the related work of others, and that will allow posting and searching for organizational, practitioner, conference, literature, training, and listserv resources
  • a new e-letter that will showcase not only new programs but also writings by experts, research, organizations, resources, opportunities, and more.

The possibilities are limitless.

UCLArts and Healing develops and facilitates the use of sustainable tools to maximize the mind-body benefits of and access to the arts - for all.

We encourage each of you to participate actively with us, by sharing information on relevant programs, organizations, service providers, research, publications, training opportunities, conferences, websites, listservs, employment opportunities, funding opportunities, requests for proposals, and other resources, which you can conveniently submit on our interactive website in the "resources" section.

Together, we will add momentum to the movement to empower and transform lives, creatively.

Ms. Ping Ho, MA, MPH Founding Director, UCLArts and Healing

UCLArts and Healing


To facilitate the use of the arts for mind-body wellness and healing in the community, as a vehicle for empowerment and transformation.


  • Offering of affordable…

Issue Areas Include

  • Arts & Music
  • Health & Medicine
  • Mental Health


  • 2626 33rd Street
    Santa Monica, CA 90405

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