The Awakenings Project
The Awakenings Project is a grass-roots initiative whose mission is to assist artists with psychiatric illnesses in developing their craft and finding an outlet for their creative abilities through art in all forms. The Awakenings Project also works to raise public awareness and acceptance of the creative talents of people living with psychiatric disorders who work in the fields of fine art, music, literature, and drama.
The Awakenings Project has grown over the years to encompass several efforts, including Awakenings Fine Arts, The Awakenings Review, Awakenings Music, and Awakenings Drama. The Awakenings Art Show, which debuted in 1996, is now a regular activity of the Awakenings Fine Arts program, along with the operation of a working art studio. At the Awakenings studio, artists have access to a "drop-in" environment providing a supportive creative environment including work space, friendship, and solitude for those who seek it. The studio, located in Elgin, Illinois, since July 2008, is also used for other functions, such as writing workshops, play rehearsals, and receptions.
Awakenings was the winner of the "Outstanding Contribution to Recovery by a Non-Profit Organization" award from the Irwin Foundation at Celebration Recovery in 2006. Awakenings also won a "Stigma Busters" award from Ecker Center at the Elgin Country Club in 2010.