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Empowerment and Recovery Through Creativity!

PSA Art Awakenings is a psycho social rehabilitation program for adults and art therapy program for youth who are challenged by serious behavioral health issues and mental illnesses. Studios throughout Arizona offer therapeutic programs and expressive arts therapy in a supportive setting to promote mental health, personal growth, vocational training, and physical wellness through the performing and visual arts. Old Bisbee, Downtown Phoenix, Casa Grande and Tucson Galleries, art exhibits, First Friday and First Saturday Art Walks and other venues offer artists opportunities to sell their paintings, sculptures, mosaics, jewelry, fine art, music, poetry, and writings to benefit from art sales. Staff include art therapists, behavioral health professionals, peers, family members and volunteers.
Art Saves Lives!

Music & Writings


Music is an integral partner of the arts and PSA Art Awakenings program. The Phoenix Studio houses a stage, instruments and sound equipment that has become a hot venue for the Art Awakenings Band and a draw for the First Friday crowd. Led by Steve D., the band plays a lot of popular music, but mainly originals written by various members of the group. Aligning with the PSA Art Awakenings mission of empowerment and recovery through creativity, if one person brings in lyrics, a composition or poem, the group collaborates to make it into a unique song and performance.

Art Awakenings Band Music

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Besides the visual arts, many PSA Art Awakenings artists participate in the Writers’ Corner. The group meets weekly to share the power of written words and constructively critique each other’s works. Whether it’s poetry, short stories, or journaling, members often work with staff to produce the words from personal experiences and often evolve, learn from or recover their life’s journey. The group is peer run and comprised of seriously talented writers who annually publish a limited collection of works. Enjoy the following excerpts and samples.

Jorge Gonzalez

Today Will Serve

Today will serve to help remember
that people’s hearts are sometimes tender.
That people’s lives are often hard
but that compassion brings them far.
Today will serve to help remind
that pain cannot be left behind.
But brought along if for the ride.
For pain is nothing we should hide.
Today will serve to keep on thinking
that some of us continue sinking.
But we keep looking up, not down.
So that in pain we should not drown.
Today will serve to be as good.
The way it was, the way it should.
And it will help me to remember
that all our hearts are sometimes tender.

by Jorge Gonzalez

In a Perfect World

In a perfect world there is no he, there is no she.
In a fantastic world there’d just be you, there’d just be me.
And in this fairytale world you’re valued by your soul.
There are no given categories, there are no assigned roles.
We all would be so happy, we all would be the same.
There’d be no more injustice, there’d be no selfish games.
We all would dance together. We all would learn to share.
You hardly would believe it, a life without a care.
Yes, in this fairytale you’d marry who you want.
There would be no pointing fingers.
There’d be no need to taunt.
In this fantastic world we all would live in joy.
There’d be no pink for girls, there’d be no blue for boys.
Yes, in this fairytale world we all would sing along.
We’d all be glorified by beauty and sing the same old song.
We’d understand each other. There’d be no need for pretenders.
In this fantastic world we’d all be angels without gender.

by Jorge Gonzalez

Dolores “Lola” Valenzuela

Being a Mother Like No Other

Being a mother like no other sometimes you have to be the father too and there are times you don’t know what to do. Just knowing you’re going to be a mother changes everything in your life.

Being a mother like no other involves being silly through the hard times. A mother getting down right very dirty on the playground on the swings and different things just for fun out in the sun.

Being a mother like no other also involves teaching your child different things for instance “birds have wings” and just learning to cook pop corn and find your nine year old child with your favorite expensive pot and find out he burned the plastic on the bottom because the pot was too hot. Do you stress with all the mess or sttle for less and give them a certain look of approval, so he can continue to cook. Being a mother can in many ways can also save your life. Now you have soemthign to cuddle, hold and love. You watch as they grow as life continues to unfold. The bottom line is being a mother like no other.
by Dolores H. Valenzuela

David B.

Dave writes as a creative outlet and considers it a form of therapy…”a way to soothe the soul.”

What is Beautiful to me
A Painting by Monet
An Arizona Sunset
The Ocean in Mexico
A suntan in July
Blue Eyes crying in the Rain
A starry night in the Forest
A sad song on the AM radio
A Flower in the Spring
Love Poems
A full Moon
and Her

by David B.

Jeanette S.

Born and reared in Midwestern town of Mansfield, Ohio, Jeannette completed one year at Phoenix College. She writes “inspirational, liturgical works based on the content of her soul.” “I love people and want to see them whole, not fragmented.” “I want my writings to have a positive effect.”

What About Now?

There was another time when one could sit alone in the park and blow bubbles to the
sky and no one would wonder why.
…What about Now?

There was another time when one could climb up a sloping hill and watch the sun set
while leaning on a tall statuesque tree as the rays slipped beneath the horizon.
…What about Now?

There was another time when children could say hello to a stranger without fear of
going against their training.
…What about Now?

There was another time when GOD was the center of our Universe not just the center
of one’s heart.
…What about Now?
…What about Now?
by Jeanette S.

Steve D.

Besides being a musician, web designer, photographer, and band leader, Steve is also a natural at putting the pen to paper to compose words and musical notes.

Life is but a dream

Last night I had a dream of a world that wasn’t cold
Evil hatred passed away, compassion did unfold
I felt a warmth unfamiliar, saw light I’ve never known
For the first time wounds were healed and I wasn’t all alone
The darkness dissipated, all torment was no more
The pieces of a shattered life were picked up off the floor
The war was finally over, I’d found my heart’s desire
Love and understanding put out the raging fire
My spirit wasn’t fragile, my heart not made of glass
Pain and suffering ended which forever seemed to last
With empty hopes fulfilled and broken dreams made whole
A gentle love and tenderness had touched a wounded soul
I’d found what I’d been looking for through my empty stare
The ball and chain was severed, the one I could not bear
The cold stone walls were broken, a prisoner set free
All inhibitions lifted to what should come naturally
A puzzle was completed, the missing piece was found
An aimless life stopped wandering across once barren ground
Now that dream’s a memory, I woke, it went away
Now it seems impossible to face another day

by Steve D.