The mission of the ELM Foundation is to promote the healing power of the arts. By advocating arts therapy and education our goal is to cultivate a lifelong love of self expression through a creative process.
Our focus is to help guide children who have experienced any form of parental loss or family structure adjustment through a therapeutic process. Then continuing to provide opportunities for further development of self awareness and expression through arts education.
WHO IS THE ELM FOUNDATION
The ELM Foundation was launched on February 20th, 2019 in honor of Emma Lauren McCoy.
As a young artist herself, Emma’s intense childhood story inspired the creation of this nonprofit organization.
Children are often left without a true voice in adult situations, if not dealt with properly this can lead to deeper psychological issues. The use of arts and arts therapy gives kids a way to explore their feelings and express themselves in more productive ways in which they can relate. This, in turn, can promote personal development, increase coping skills, and enhance cognitive function.
Although we believe that arts and arts therapy is beneficial for all ages, the ELM Foundation will focus primarily on children who are facing the topic of parental loss or family structure adjustment.
THE GOAL OF ELM FOUNDATION IS TO PROMOTE THE HEALING POWER OF THE ARTS, THROUGH THE USE OF ARTS THERAPY AS WELL AS MULTIDISCIPLINARY ARTS EDUCATION.
By advocating how arts therapy can reach children in a more meaningful way to help facilitate communication and promote healing, we hope to bring awareness that using the arts as therapy can be tremendously successful. However, to date, we feel arts therapy has been greatly underutilized but with our public outreach initiative, we hope to show there are great needs and benefits, especially for children.
ELM Foundation will take our focus group of children and coordinate with private licensed arts therapists to help guide them through the healing process. We will then combine efforts with the ELM Foundation Family of Fellows and Mentors to lead classes and workshops in various study areas to enhance the multidisciplinary approach to arts education.
By providing this continued education, we hope to further the kids’ interest in a lifelong love for creation and self expression, with the ultimate goal of proving the healing power of the arts.
HOW CAN ARTISTIC EXPRESSION HELP
“I feel I have no voice so this is why I put tape over my mouth.” -Child
HOW CAN ARTISTIC EXPRESSION HELP CHILDREN EXPERIENCING CHANGES IN FAMILY DYNAMICS?
CHILDREN OFTEN FIND
themselves feeling helpless in situations where they have no control. If they feel their opinions do not count, they internalize and repress those opinions, which in turn leads to stress. This can have lifelong effects if not dealt with properly and redirected in a positive way.
HOW WE WILL MAKE
WHAT WE WANT TO ACHIEVE ON A MUCH LARGER SCALE IS TO SHOW THE GENERAL HEALING POWER OF ARTS.
The American Art Therapy Association describes art therapy as “a mental health profession that uses the creative process of art-making to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages.”
It is based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness.
With the guidance of a credentialed arts therapist, one can create and reflect on the art process and the results can help increase awareness of self and help cope with symptoms of stress and traumatic experiences.
Although our primary goal is to help our focus group of children, what we want to achieve on a much larger scale is to show the general healing power of arts.
While promoting the benefits of arts therapy in needed situations we will equally show that ALL artist work comes from a place of internal healing. This, in turn, will teach the kids that they can use their newfound tools to express their feelings for their whole life, not just in arts therapy.
As an added benefit we hope to create public advocacy material that will remind adults that children DO have a voice and that we MUST pay attention and HEAR them.
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