UCLArts & Healing is an organizational member of the UCLA Collaborative Centers for Integrative Medicine (CCIM), which promotes education and research in complementary, alternative, and integrative approaches to health and well-being, and is supported by the Arts & Healing Initiative, a non-profit organization established for this purpose. CCIM Steering Committee Member and Founding Administrator, Ping Ho, MA, MPH founded UCLArts & Healing in 2004.
Our mission is to transform lives through creative expression by integrating the innate benefits of the arts with mental health practices for self-discovery, connection, and empowerment.
Our experiential education programs are designed to serve all ages and populations, particularly those living with challenges of trauma, illness, special needs, or social isolation. Our sustainable strategy for meeting the needs of under-resourced communities includes professional development programs in socially and emotionally supportive practices, with scripted curriculum materials that anyone can use, and a Social Emotional Arts Certificate Program for those who want to learn how to develop and deliver their own effective curricula. We also partner with K-12 schools, healthcare institutions, community-based organizations, universities and colleges, and professional organizations to expand our mission.
- 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, and the Wilshire Boulevard 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.