For people struggling with addiction, pain and loss, finding a creative outlet can prove difficult — often due to lack of access or resources.
Art For All People addresses this issue. Founded in 2011 by Sarah Hellmann, the organization offers access to the arts to those in need.
“Our goal is to promote healing and reassert a sense of hope through the art-making process and trusting relationships,” Hellman said. “Art for All People brings the arts to people who are marginalized in the community.”
Hellmann brings art supplies and encourages everyone to choose a preferred creative outlet, including drawing and coloring.
For those who prefer to draw or start at the beginning of a piece, Hellman begins with a blank canvas and walks through the process step by step. Many also choose to begin with premade drawings and stencils to focus on coloring.
Hellmann also brings music to sessions.
“We listen to a variety of music,” Hellmann said. “I’ll play anything from Kanye West to the Dixie Chicks to Tracy Chapman.”
Hellmann believes all people are creative and deserve the chance to communicate.
“Many people stay away from creative activities because they are afraid to fail,” Hellmann says. “I encourage people to silence their inner critic. Art is not about control, it is about surrender.”
Art for All People serves any of the following: women inmates and male veterans at the Justice Center, psychiatric patients at UC Health, adults living with mental illness in the Tender Mercies community, individuals recovering from substance abuse at the Center for Addiction Treatment, veterans experiencing homelessness and active addiction at St. Joseph House, and men and women experiencing homelessness at Shelterhouse.
“You’re all born with the strength to overcome the struggle you’re in today,” Hellmann said.
Anyone interested in Art for All People’s services can email Sarah Hellmann at firstname.lastname@example.org.