A.R.T. Matching Grant Challenge!
We at A.R.T. are very pleased to announce a $30,000 challenge grant made possible by our board member David Lichtenstein.
We need your help keeping the campaign for true individual creative power and freedom alive. So many new programs, so many new A.R.T. artists, ready to launch once we secure funding.
Now is a great time to give if you haven't done so yet, and a great time to give a little bit more if you can. That means that when you donate now, you are effectively doubling the impact of your giving. We'd really like to raise all $30,000 needed to max out our challenge grant, and every donation helps!
Thank you in advance for supporting A.R.T.
A.R.T.'s mission is to provide techniques that give direct creative expression to those who lack use of their limbs -- even those with "locked-in syndrome" who can communicate only through eye signals or assistive devices.
A.R.T. is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization established by Tim Lefens in 1995 to share its breakthrough method of bringing profound enhancement of quality of life to a severely marginalized population. This breakthrough offers a powerful new way of seeing that is key to our evolution as human beings. A.R.T. helps able-bodied people become aware that disabled persons possess deep, articulate, creative powers that many times overleap their own.
Witnessing new A.R.T. artists emerging appears nearly miraculous. Our process brings a person thought to be inert, to new vibrancy. It isn't a miracle. All it takes is a new way of seeing. Jump away from the primitive instinct to judge by appearances, to the ability to see what is really there: the individual as full of life, but simply trapped. A.R.T. brings the means to get everything that is trapped inside, out. When people see this happen - this leap from the bottom rung of the ladder to the top - with so little effort - Just by looking at things a new way, the quote we often hear is: "I am blown away."
Here's the situation: Our society, although doing their best, with good intentions, leave fellow humans trapped in a dehumanizing, unnecessary void of passivity. We have worked with disabilities organizations and schools all over the country, for the past 16 years. Brilliant, deep, rich, witty, ingenious, warm, hilarious, unique, powerfully creative individuals of all ages are not offered pathways to show us who they really are, who they are on the inside. Current approaches don't offer them any means to subtlety, complexity, exactness, sophisticated self-expression. When asked why these things were not being offered the traditional response is, "You can only expect so much from them."
These same people deemed incapable, linked instantly with the A.R.T. techniques. They were in there the whole time, ready, waiting. This 'being trapped' being locked in, is a terrible situation that can be ended. Everyone who sees A.R.T. in action is deeply stirred, both emotionally and intellectually. A.R.T. is a simple approach. It is based on common sense. It worked the first day we tried it in 1994, and continues to work, everywhere we take it around the country. A.R.T. creates innovative tools and technologies. We offer training that empowers organizations to have their own A.R.T. studio program. Our breakthrough approach brings perfect individual control of creative processes to a population that cannot walk, few can talk, and none have the articulate use of their hands.
A.R.T. is not recreational therapy, and although it has the deepest therapeutic benefits, the work produced is not art therapy art. The work produced is Art. It is Art that comes solely from the individual. There are no art lessons. There is no guidance. It comes from them. Amazing. With this leap from passivity to perfect control, the user gains the voice, the power, to show the world who they really are. And when those around them see the full power the individual holds in their inner life, everything changes. Seen differently they are treated differently, doors once closed to them, open, and in comes the fresh air.
"For me, a most profound moment came as one artist completed her painting; she was overwhelmed, ecstatic with joy and fulfillment. Her whole being radiated with an enormous sense of pride. Learning about A.R.T. through reading, talking and even watching videos only provides a glimpse into the impact the program can have for individuals."
- Jacqueline Cavadi, Director, Easter Seals, UCP NC/VA
You can see examples of paintings created using the A.R.T. approach on our web gallery. Each of these exceptional paintings was created with no outside influence of any kind. We simply bring them the tools that will empower them to take charge, and they run with it. The artwork operates at such a high level it proves this population have exceptional untapped creative power.
From the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: With A.R.T., Jake Martin can concentrate less on his shaky hands and more on his design. "I can let go of everything, everything," he says. "Painting gives me a chance to be regular for once.'
A.R.T. brings Jake not only relief, joy and satisfaction in the studio, but offers him the most deeply meaningful form of employment. All the A.R.T. studio programs raise high-profile exhibitions in top galleries and art museums. So many of the A.R.T. artists have sold their work, some for as much as $3,000.00, and so they rise from isolation, to creative power, to integration with, and respect of, the greater community.
So many people are fooled by outer appearances of those we work with. A.R.T. suspends all presumption, and simply gives the keys of the Ferrari to the new artist, and let them step on the gas. Our experience in the field over these last sixteen years is that it is as if those we work with, no matter their age, no matter their official clinical cognitive rating, have been sitting in the Ferrari all along, engine running, car in gear, foot ready on the gas pedal, but the nose of the car is pressed against the closed garage door. All A.R.T. does is lift the door, and off they go.
We can link you to numerous professionals around the country who have seen A.R.T. in action and can testify to the veracity of our claims. President of Princeton University Shirley Tilghman describes A.R.T. as a revolution, and that it is. It is simple. It is easy. Not only can it not cost much, but can bring serious funding to the host site.
We have allied to raise A.R.T. programs with United Cerebral Palsy, Easter Seals, ARC of America, the Cerebral Palsy Association, schools, care facilities, day programs, rehab centers, hospitals, independent community-based programs, nonprofit arts groups, and private homes. There is no age limit, no cognitive rating limit for those we work with.
Our flagship studio program is at The Paul Robeson Center for the Arts in Princeton NJ. A.R.T. board members have included actor Willem Dafoe, musician Neil Young, author John McPhee, art historian professor emeritus Princeton University Sam Hunter, photographer Barbara Vaughn-Hoimes.
Our web site has had visitors from over sixty-four countries. We have satellite sites in New Zealand, England and Canada. Feature media coverage include the New York Times, the Miami Herald, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Reader, CBS Evening News, PBS, CNN national and international, Reader's Digest, People Magazine, American Profiles, and American Voices with Bill Bradley.
Seeing these individuals emerge has spurred our mission to help organizations across the country raise their own studio programs, in order to bring the liberating power of A.R.T. to as many people as we can.
Watch the "Essence of A.R.T." here, featured on CBS Evening News http://www.artrealization.org/video/vid_2.html&h=FAQE8WtFb&s=1"> http://www.artrealization.org/video/vid_2.html