Creativity. Connectivity. Community. – It takes a Village!


AFT provides FUN, adaptive, artistic platforms designed to provide free of charge, evidence-based, interactive, healing programs of art & wonder to support the mental, physical and emotional well being of all trauma survivors.

About Artists For Trauma


Trauma is the #1 cause of death for Americans between 1 and 44 years old. Each year, trauma accounts for 41 million ER visits and 2 million hospital admissions.


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.


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.

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, incident of war, rape, emotional and physical violence, racism and discrimination. 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.

All Artists for Trauma workshops are FREE of charge to veterans and civilian trauma survivors.

• Photography

• Filmmaking

• Painting

• Pottery

• Drawing

• Yoga

• Tai Chi

• Meditation

• Creative writing

• Dance

• Music

• And more!


Spinal Cord Injuries in the United States:


• 250,000 Americans are spinal cord injured

• 52% of spinal cord injured individuals are considered paraplegis and 47% quadriplegic • Approximately 11,000 new injuries occur each year.

• 82% are male • 56% of injuries occur between the ages of 16 & 30

• SCI most commonly caused by:

     Vehicle-Traffic Crash: 37%

     Violence: 28% Falls: 21%

     Sports-related: 6%

     Other: 8%

• The most rapidly increasing cause of disabling and/or disfiguring trauma is due to violence; vehicular accident injuries are decreasing in number.

• 89% of all SCI individuals are discharged from hospitals to a private home. 4.3% are discharged to nursing homes.

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) in the United States:


• At least 5.3 million Americans, 2% of the U.S. population, currently live with disabilities resulting from TBI

• Approximately 230,000 survivors of TBI in the United States experience long-term disability, making

• TBI a major public health problem.

• TBI most commonly caused by:

     Falls: 35.2%

     Vehicle-Traffic Crashes: 17.3%

     Struck by/against events: 16.5%

     Assaults: 10.0%

• BLASTS are a leading cause of TBI for active duty military personnel in war zones.

• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that at least 5.3 million Americans currently have a long-term or lifelong need for help to perform activities of daily living as a result of a TBI.



• Globally – An estimated 265,000 deaths every year are caused by burns – the vast majority occur in low and middle-income communities.

• In 2008 over 410,000 burn injuries occurred in the United States

• Non-fatal burn injuries are a leading cause of morbidity.

• Burns are among the leading causes of disability-adjusted life years.

Learn about Laura’s story

Get to know the team