a personal message from our founder
As I watched my 20-month-old granddaughter climb a play structure, I heard her say to herself, Almost there. You can do it.
And I had an epiphany.
Some deeply embedded messages are programmed before we can even speak.
Creative expression can reveal inner voices of wisdom and resilience. It can also reveal voices of self-judgment and limitation that can be re-programmed in a supportive context—without expectations of product or performance.
Then, I had another epiphany.
While in my car at a stoplight, I observed an expressionless young lady waiting to cross the street, looking straight ahead at the traffic signal. She suddenly burst into a huge smile, and as I witnessed this, I, too, immediately burst into a huge smile, with accompanying feelings of joy.
I know that we are hard-wired for empathy by mirror neurons that enable us to imitate what we see and hear; however, the strength of that connection was never clearer to me.
We can change our environment with a smile.
Shared creative experiences offer organic opportunities for meaningful dialogue and the development of empathy. By integrating mental health practices in the process, we can deepen possibilities for personal and community transformation.
Creative expression through the arts is a universal language for all circumstances. It’s simple, accessible, powerful, and immediate. It brings joy, connection, and meaning. It is a window into our soul.
How would our world be different if socially and emotionally supportive arts experiences were available everywhere—in schools and universities, hospitals, recreation settings, senior residences, and community-based organizations?
We’re facilitating a movement to make this possible.
By developing sustainable creative tools for anyone to use at the front lines of need. By providing a much-needed evidence-basis for their benefits. By raising the bar with mental health practices to deepen the meaning of human experience.
And by joining forces with you, we are now beyond the tipping point for this movement. The sudden increase in opportunity and demand from a variety of national and international sectors tells us that the scale has tipped.
As we ramp up our current projects, we are initiating projects aimed at having a broad impact on underperforming students from Pre-K to Grade 5, medical patients of all ages and their healthcare providers, and older adults with neurological disorders.
This movement is growing fast with your help in spreading the word. We welcome volunteers with special skills, and leads to potential celebrity advocates, corporate partners, or individuals who wish to leave a meaningful legacy. We are ever grateful for donations of any type or size to add momentum to this movement.
Ping Ho, MA, MPH
*Turnaround Arts: CA is the non-profit California arm of Turnaround Arts, founded under the Obama Administration of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), a White House advisory committee on cultural issues. Now led by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and PCAH in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education, the National Endowment for the Arts, local partners, and several private foundations—the program brings arts-based educational strategies to struggling elementary and middle schools to narrow the opportunity gap, increase student engagement, and improve campus culture and climate.