Creativity… Connectivity… Community… It takes a Village!


August 29, 2014

Artists for Trauma and Rhythm and Joy Festival showcase the power of art – wistv

By Steven Thomas

“Founded in 2011, Artists for Trauma pairs military and civilian trauma victims with sculptors, painters, actors, singers and other types of artists. Through art, trauma survivors are able to process extremely complex emotions and move forward in a positive way.”

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August 29, 2014

Artists for Trauma and Rhythm and Joy Festival showcase the power of art – myfoxphilly

By Steven Thomas

“This year Artists for Trauma is teaming up with the Rhythm and Joy Festival for a fashion show and music festival. Featuring four time Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter, Eric Benet, the free all-day festival will take place Saturday, Aug. 30th at Warner Center Park in Woodland Hills, CA.”

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August 29, 2014

Artists for Trauma and Rhythm and Joy Festival showcase the power of art – CBS8

by Steven Thomas

“Art is extremely powerful. Movies can make us laugh, songs can make us cry and paintings can often leave us deep in thought. Artists for Trauma, a non-profit dedicated to enriching the lives of trauma victims, understands that art moves people literally, figuratively and emotionally.”

View Article on CBS8


August 26, 2014

R&B Crooner Eric Benet Joins the 2nd Annual Rhythm and Joy Festival Line Up

Four time Grammy-nominated® singer/songwriter, Eric Benet, will appear at the 2nd Annual Rhythm and Joy Festival (RAJ 2014), held on Saturday, August 30th from 11am – 8:30pm at Warner Center Park in Woodland Hills, CA. The day-long sustainable living, transformational music and arts festival features a lineup of outstanding conscious musicians from a variety of genres including Rickie Byars Beckwith, The Afro Tribes of Joseph, Charles Holt, Faith Rivera, Ali Stroker and Dani Shay from The Glee Project, Kev Choice, DJ Shiva, Luc and the Lovingtons, Nailah Porter, Freddie Ravel, Jami Lula, Daveon Overton and the Agape International Choir. The event will be hosted by renowned spiritual teacher, Panache Desai, who will also DJ as MC-IAM.

In addition to the music, title sponsor Artists for Trauma will host a fashion show featuring civilian and military trauma survivors. Entitled “Roll with it, Flow With It,” this dynamic fashion show demonstrates the power of positivity and possibilities after trauma and highlights unique apparel designed for and modeled by quadriplegic, paraplegic, and amputee models. Says Laura Sharpe, Founder and Executive Director of Artists for Trauma and trauma survivor herself, “We are a collective power of quality recovery. We teach the world what is possible after trauma, when all appears impossible. Trauma survivors are fun, tasteful, cool, hip, sexy and fashionable too! We’re excited to bring this performance art to RAJ 2014.

The festival will also present a wellness and healing oasis, green do-it-yourself demonstrations, eco-friendly fun and learning, the KUUMBA children’s pavilion, a sustainable living marketplace, vegan, vegetarian and kosher food concessions, a festival parade as well as music and arts workshops. Says RAJ 2014 Founder and Artistic Director, Rickie Byars Beckwith, “We want to inspire a collective commitment to live healthier lives in harmony with the earth. And, we want people to make friends. What better way to capture the essence of that premise than with a day of celebration—through art, music and good old-fashioned fun. Free your rhythm and your joy will follow!”

Limited reserved seating and VIP tickets are on sale now. General admission to RAJ 2014 is free and open to the public. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit

About RAJ 14

The Rhythm and Joy Festival (RAJ 2014) is a transformational experience of music and arts for the entire family. Featuring healing music of dynamic singers, musicians and performing artists, RAJ 14 is full to overflowing with eco-friendly fun and learning, art, dance, yoga, sustainable living marketplace and food court, drum circles, parades and experiential joyous festivities.

Created by Rickie Byars Beckwith, legendary New Thought performance artist, acclaimed singer songwriter and Music & Arts director of the Agape International Spiritual Center, the Rhythm & Joy Festival (RAJ 2014) is a soulful celebration that proves the impact of music as a catalyst for change. More than an alternative music festival or sustainability conference, RAJ is a transformative experience bringing together iconic music and performing artists, innovative speakers and socially responsible entrepreneurs for a full day celebration of community and creativity.

About Artists for Trauma

AFT is a 501(c)(3) 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.

View Article on CNN iReport

Los Angeles County Lifeguard Stories “Alternating Currents” Episode #3

August 6, 2014


March 22, 2014

Laura is Now a Regular Contributor on Parade eMagazine!

Laura is now a regular contributor to parade emagazine! Please check out her heartfelt article.

[Parade is an American nationwide Sunday newspaper magazine, distributed in more than 640 newspapers in the United States. Founded in 1941 and owned by Advance Publications. Parade is the most widely read magazine in the U.S. with a circulation of 32.5 million and a readership of nearly 60 million. - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]

What I Learned From Surviving a Helicopter Crash

I am a trauma survivor—one of the lucky ones. In 2008, on my way to Catalina Island for a holiday weekend with family and friends, I survived a horrific helicopter crash that killed three other passengers. I suffered critical, near-fatal injuries that would change the course of my life forever. read more


October 7, 2013


November 12, 2012


November 10, 2012

Life Connected: Helicopter Crash Survivor Shares Therapeutic Power of Art (NBC Los Angeles)

This story ran both Friday, November 9, 2012 as Trauma Survivors Paired with Artists, “Then the Magic Happens” and Saturday, November 10, 2012 as Life Connected: Helicopter Crash Survivor Shares Therapeutic Power of Art.

Read the article


September 5, 2012

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