Creative Minds Project (CMP) Seeks Volunteers

The Creative Minds Project (CMP) is a UCLArts & Healing program. We integrate the innate social-emotional benefits of the arts with mental health practices at local community agencies in West LA, Venice, and Santa Monica that serve transitional aged youth, adults and veterans living homeless.

At this time, we are particularly in need of ​volunteer ​SEA and MedSEA trainees, mental health professionals, and creative arts therapists and interns interested in assisting, facilitating, or co-facilitating groups in expressive arts, creative writing/poetry, ​drumming/music groups. While we have some example content already for facilitators to use, they are encouraged to design their own content for the groups. Some trainees can start as soon as possible. The minimum time commitment is once a week for a 1.5 hour session; however there are opportunities to participate in more groups. To apply, please send your resume/CV and a brief statement of interest to​


We are especially looking to place trainees​ during these times:

​Expressive Art + Writing, Drumming/Music  at The People Concern Access Center (formally OPCC; ​503 W Olympic Blvd, Santa Monica, 90401)

  • Thursdays anytime between 9am – 3pm (for a 1.5 hour session, including setup/cleanup)
  • other times available, based on trainee’s schedule (within 10am – 4:30pm, weekdays)

​The Access Center serves low-income adults and families, women and their children affected by domestic violence, people living homeless, ​and people with severe physical or mental health issues.

​Creative Writing at People Assisting the Homeless West LA (PATH WLA; 2346 Cotner Ave, Los Angeles, 90064)

  • Tuesdays 6:40 – 8pm

PATH WLA provides interim housing and supportive services to approximately 32 veteran men living homeless with mental health, physical and/or substance abuse issues.

More details on the Creative Minds Project: 

The Creative Minds Project (CMP) is a program of UCLArts & Healing and is​ supported by UCLA and the Donald A. Strauss Foundation. 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, expressive artists with social-emotional arts training, and UCLA students. UCLArts and Healing partnered in the development of the Creative Minds Project and supports it continuously. One of the ways in which UCLArts & Healing supports the Creative Minds Project is by offering interns and pro bono mental health professionals free access to its public experiential education programs.

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.

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 and Daniel’s Place mental health agencies.