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Trauma happens in an instant. It is unexpected, devastating and life altering. If we are not victims ourselves, many of us know someone who has experienced a traumatic experience.

Trauma claims many victims and takes many forms.  A car crash – burning inferno – plane crash – accident on the job – gun shot – explosion – a catastrophic fall – an incident of war. Sometimes survivors don’t even remember the moment of impact and sometimes all they can remember is waking up in the hospital with their lives irrevocably changed. Disfigurement, disability and a long and difficult process of recovery are often results of trauma.

What is the challenge of surviving this level of trauma?

Re-creating a new version of one’s life… physically, mentally and emotionally. Artists for Trauma provides the platform for the trauma survivor to participate in “creative engagement”, a proven pathway to positively re-connect with themselves and their community.

Awareness gives one the sensitivity to see possibilities and potential both within themself and in the world, while creativity gives one the ability to engage with the transformation of everything that awareness comes into contact with.

AFT provides trauma survivors a means to heighten their awareness, creativity and engagement by pairing them with an artist from an art discipline that speaks to their heart.

Help AFT continue to help
trauma survivors
in their recovery


Are you or someone you know a trauma survivor? Artists for Trauma can help.

Artists for Trauma provides a pathway for trauma survivors to re-connect with themselves and their communities, through private, one-on-one instruction in a wide range of artistic disciplines.  This creative engagement has been shown repeatedly to be of great assistance in helping those who have suffered physical, mental or emotional trauma. AFT provides the instructor and all necessary art supplies free of charge. Participants progress at their own speed in a pressure-free environment. Join Artists for Trauma…

Would you like to help Artists for Trauma as a Volunteer or a Volunteer Artist

AFT is seeking volunteers and volunteer artists in all parts of the country. Send us a note letting us know about yourself and what you are interested in doing. Then please read and sign the Volunteer Artist Agreement or General Volunteer Agreement and email as a PDF to: volunteers@artistsfortrauma.org

Creativity… Connectivity… Community… It takes a Village!

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About Artists for Trauma

Artists for Trauma (AFT) is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of both civilian and military trauma survivors by pairing recovering patients with established artists from various disciplines.

The organization aims to expedite recovery through artistic expression and human connection, providing a creative portal to help patients process complex emotions, regain confidence and build self-acceptance after suffering a traumatic experience.

Founded by trauma survivor Laura Sharpe in 2011, AFT was inspired by her personal journey to recovery, in which Sharpe connected with the world of art as a source of healing from her near-mortal wounds.

AFT reveals and shares the blueprint of Sharpe’s astonishing recovery to help other Level 1 trauma survivors positively reconnect with themselves, their families and their communities.

Participating Artists:

Brad Howe, Sculpture Artist

Cheryl Ekstrom, Sculpture Artist

Etan Boritzer, Author

Richard Duardo, Artist, Master Printer, and Managing Director of Modern Multiples

Zari Wigfall, Choreographer and Dancer,
Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance, California Arts Institute

Christopher ReutingerConcert Violinist and Composer,
Founding Member of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra

Erika Jayne, Singer

Ford AustinTrauma Survivor, Award-Winning Filmmaker, Actor, and Producer

Lauree DashEmmy-Winning TV Producer

Bruce Eckstut, Music and Voice Coach,
Bachelors and Masters Derees, Juilliard School of Music

Diana MarckettaReality/Documentary Producer and Media Consultant

Jessica EmmanuelDancer, Poor Dog Group

Lindsay LollieDancer

Chisa SeniukDancer

Karen ThayerGraphic Arts

Wana Klasen, Painter

Brian Kuhlman, Photographer

Joslyn Lawrence, Photographer

Peter Cohen, Clothing Designer

Gina Ellis, Fashion Designer

Camilo Pardo, Art, Design, and Fashion

Jeff Yokoyama

Richard Shapiro, Antiques and Works of Art

And more…