PSA Art Awakenings
A program of PSA Behavioral Health Agency
To promote empowerment and recovery through the power of creative expression with adults and youth who face behavioral health challenges.
To download the PSA Art Awakenings Fact Sheet PDF Click Here.
In late fall of 2000, PSA Art Awakenings was born out of PSA (People Service Action) Behavioral Health Agency, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization incorporated in 1971 whose mission is to enhance and empower the mental health community through creativity, innovation, and diversity. The brainchild of PSA Chief Executive Officer Sara Marriott, PSA Art Awakenings began as a consumer run business with funding from the Rehabilitation Services Administration and only four adult consumers creating and selling artwork.
Today the program is funded by by Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care, Cenpatico Integrated Care, Health Choice Integrated Care, & Gila River Indian Community.
From its modest beginning, PSA Art Awakenings has grown into a significant psycho-social rehabilitation program with 15 studios and five galleries serving over 2,000 artists annually – all working toward empowerment and recovery through creativity.
With studios encompassing Cochise, Maricopa, Mohave, La Paz, Pinal, Pima, and Yuma Counties, the PSA Art Awakenings reach has expanded by eight studios in recent years. We currently operate studios in Bisbee, Casa Grande, Douglas, two in Downtown Phoenix (including Warehouse 1005) the Maricopa Youth Studio, NW Phoenix , Tempe, Tucson, Warehouse 442 in Tucson, Parker , Yuma and Kingman. In addition to our physical locations, mobile off site therapeutic art groups are held at partner agencies in Sierra Vista, Bullhead City, Kingman, and throughout Maricopa County.
The Warehouse 1005 and Warehouse 442 are unique independent extensions of the PSA Art Awakenings’ family. These studios offer adult artists who have graduated from Art Awakenings and possess an entrepreneurial spirit, the opportunity to further develop their artistic skills and maintain wellness at a more independent level of self-sufficiency.
The Studios provide a safe, supportive environment for adults and children to foster exploration and development of artistic skills. Participants’ distinct talents are acknowledged from the start, with each being referred to as an “artist” who learns respect for self and others, personal accountability, and pride in accomplishments while developing enhanced self-esteem and wellness management skills.
Therapeutic art groups are provided for adults and children to promote the healing power of creativity and self-expression. Participants readily admit that creating art helps reduce stress and the intensity of psychiatric symptoms. Studios, known as “the place where the magic happens”, also offer visual arts, poetry, music, movement, drama, pre-job training, socialization and education.
PSA Art Awakenings promotes hope, recovery, diversity and wellness through an innovative and strengths based treatment program. It is a person centered and peer driven program, with staff working collaboratively with artists on their journeys to recovery. Staff welcomes and incorporates input from artists about the program and encourages community integration, skill building, and working towards self-sufficiency.
Artists serve as studio staff instructors and studio assistants. As needed, they can also serve as representatives on the Artist Advisory Committee to assist in providing direction to the PSA Art Awakenings program. Advisory members model a positive attitude toward recovery for their peers by embracing leadership, the arts and the community. Staff acknowledges that incorporating the artists’ voices is vital to the success of the individual and overall program.
A staff of 100+ team members works to provide an effective therapeutic expressive arts program in a recovery focused studio environment. The team includes clinical and administrative management, expressive arts therapists, behavioral health paraprofessionals and technicians, certified recovery support specialists, and support staff including artists/studio assistants. All believe in the healing and transformational power of creativity and agree that: Art Saves Lives!