Directory of Consumer Driven Services
Program Information
Program Name: The Awakenings Project
Year the Program was Started: 1996
Public Contact Person: Irene O'Neill
Address: P.O. Box 177
Wheaton, IL 60187
Telephone #: 630-606-8732
Email Address:
Website URL:
Program Category: Recreation/Arts
Target Participants:
Program Setting:
Program Owned or Leased Facility (leased store front, community residence)
Annual Program Budget: $10,000-$40,000
Number of staff: Paid Full-Time: None
Paid Part-Time: None
Volunteers: 20+
Consumer involvement in the program
Number of staff members and volunteers who are consumers: All
How often do consumer staff and volunteers participate in program decisions? Always
Number of administrators or board members who are consumers: Almost All
Program Training/ Technical Assistance Materials Available:
Cost for materials? No
Program Goals: Exposure for artists to meet the public and educate the public about the capabilities and talents of people living with mental illnesses.. For artists to have a studio space and materials to continue to develop their artistic talents.. The Literary Arts Journal, which we also produce, allows poets and writers with mental illness an outlet for those talents..
Have any outcomes for this program been assessed through internal or external research? Yes
If Yes, details: Outcomes have been assessed for this program. (Internal research: polling of artists to see what they need to continue developing their talents; Internal research: testimonials from artists' families and friends about how much Awakenings has helped them; External research: one grantmaking agency has encouraged us to design a report card system.)
Program Mission Statement: The mission of The Awakenings Project is to assist persons with mental illness in developing and enhancing their creative abilities through art in all its forms, and to raise public awareness of the creative talents and contributions of people living with mental illness.
Additional Information: People familiar with mental illnesses understand that there is a terrible loss of purpose and self-esteem due to these disorders. The Arts can help heal some of these wounds. They can provide individuals who struggle with these disabilities hope, purpose, and identity. Artists and viewers are aware that all of these exhibits have been directed, curated and produced entirely by persons with psychiatric disorders. We also produce a literary arts, journal, "The Awakenings Review," which contains writings by many poets and writers with mental illnesses, their family members, friends and/or professionals.

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