The Creative Minds Project (CMP) is a partnership between UCLArts & Healing and Students for Integrative Medicine at UCLA, and is supported by UCLA and the Donald A. Strauss Foundation. CMP integrates the innate social-emotional benefits of the arts with mental health practices at local homeless agencies in West LA and Venice, PATH West LA, and Safe Place for Youth.

The Creative Minds Project (CMP) brings art, drama, dance/movement, expressive poetry, music, and drumming groups to transitional-aged youth and adults living homeless. This sustainable program is served by volunteers who are creative arts therapists or therapists with experience integrating the arts, graduate students in the creative arts therapies, and UCLA undergraduates.

The CMP offers accessible, nonverbal, and universal tools that maximize the transformational value of the arts through a focus on the process of creative expression. The CMP believes that while the arts themselves are healing, even greater value can be obtained from the arts when a therapeutic dimension is added. The CMP works through metaphor by reflecting on the process of expression and the self that is revealed through this process.  By reflecting on unconscious themes revealed and facilitating meaningful dialogue that naturally follows, the CMP fosters self-awareness, insight, empathy, healing, wellness, and community.

The Creative Minds Project also offers programming at UCLA in the creative arts for healing and wellness. We have partnered in the development of the Creative Minds Project and support it continuously. We offer interns and pro-bono mental health professionals free access to CMP’s public experiential education programs.

Click here to view a UCLA Daily Bruin article that offer details on the experience of participants at Step Up on Second. From May 2012 – August 2014, the CMP served Step Up on Second (SUOS) and Daniel’s Place (DP) mental health agencies.

the cmp intern team:

The CMP intern team includes UCLA undergraduates, creative arts therapy masters-level graduate students working towards their certificates, and full professionals (currently an art therapist and an “alternate-route” poetry therapy MFT) offering pro bono services. Masters-level volunteers are requested to receive off-site arts-specific training and supervision, from certified creative arts therapists or other clinical psychology professionals, and also to conduct ongoing program evaluations. The minimum time commitment for interns and full professionals is once a week for 1.5 hour session(s). The minimum time commitment for UCLA undergraduate students is 5+ hours/week.

for more information:

If you are a potential UCLA undergraduate, community volunteer, or graduate student in creative arts therapies and would like to be kept apprised of placement opportunities, please visit this page for updates, or contact

To request an application, and learn about the upcoming informational sessions, please email