Art Therapy and Social Action: A Transpersonal Framework. Dan Hocoy

Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 22 
(1) pp. 7-16 © AATA, Inc. 2005
This article introduces a conceptual framework that inte grates art therapy and social action. The author uses a transpersonal model of the human psyche and an interdependent paradigm of the self and views personal psychological experiences and external societal structures as entwined in a co-creative, mutually dependent relationship. From this perspective, art therapy and social action become interconnected enterprises ultimately having the same goal: just and peaceful communities derived from individual and collective wholeness. The unique role of image in art therapy and social action is discussed, and homophobia is used as a working example of  the reciprocal impact of societal and individual psychic  processes. Art therapists should examine their complicity in unjust social arrangements and take a moral stance to work  for justice by actively redressing imbalances, within and out-side the consulting room. It is suggested that art therapists adopt an action research approach by relinquishing theoretical dogma and cultural assumptions to consider the specific needs and worldview of the individuals being served.

Illustrators Create for Social Awareness

How Illustrated Impact uses compassion as a vehicle for change

How Illustrated Impact uses compassion as a vehicle for change

This illustration by Vivian Rosas was created for a post about post about bruja culture during women’s month. The image was Illustrated Impact’s most reposted piece, according to cofounder Susanne Lamb. Courtesy of Illustrated Impact.


By Kara Newhouse

Kara Newhouse is the creator and host of the Women in STEM podcast and a 2015 ivoh summit attendee. You can follow her on Twitter at @KaraNewhouse.



In a world full of injustice, attractive images can be more than just a break from reality; they can be a call to action.

“Beautiful illustrations can be a doorway for people to connect with topics that they hadn’t thoroughly explored in the past,” said Susanne Lamb, one of the creators of Illustrated Impact, an online platform that draws attention to causes and charities through illustrations.

Illustrated Impact began with a one-month campaign last winter. After Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election, Lamb wanted a to use her artistic skills to counter feelings of division and fear. Working with her friends Lorraine Nam and Laura Korzon, she curated a list of 21 charities that serve people targeted by Trump’s “damaging rhetoric and proposed policy shifts.” The three Rhode Island School of Design grads then asked other illustrators to contribute pieces that promoted those causes throughout December.

“It ended up being a ton of work to put together, but was a great sort of boot camp for what Illustrated Impact would become,” Lamb said in an interview with ivoh.

Now the Illustrated Impact trio picks a single monthly theme and shares related interviews and illustrations through the website, social media and a biweekly newsletter. Earth month in April, for example, featured images of marine life and urban gardens, an interview with falconer and conservationist Jack Hubley and an illustrated beet burger recipe. Black History Month in February highlighted remarkable historical figures, such as politician Shirley Chisholm, Arctic explorer Matthew Henson and singer Etta James.


Libby VanderPloeg created this animation to inspire support for She Should Run, an organization that encourages women to run for political offices. Courtesy of Illustrated Impact.


Illustrators contribute their artwork free-of-charge to the project, either after being sought out directly by Lamb and her partners or by submitting an idea independently. Regarding style guidelines, Lamb said they try to strike a balance between keeping the aesthetics cohesive and fresh.

“We really are so grateful that people want to be involved in our community and have been blown away by the beautiful work that’s been produced,” she said.

Among her favorites so far were four pieces created by illustrator Juana Medina for Pride month. They accompanied an interview with blogger Brent Almond, who described taking his son out of school to celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage. One of Medina’s images features a black-and-white line drawing of a man and a child doing can-can kicks on the courthouse steps with a soft rainbow trailing out behind them.


An illustration created by Juana Medina to accompany an interview Designer Daddy blogger Brent Almond during Pride month. Courtesy of Illustrated Impact.


“The story is so sweet and the illustration could not be more joyful,” said Lamb. “Marriage equality is one of the more recent success stories that demonstrates change is possible, and though it takes too long sometimes, compassion eventually triumphs, through a great deal of conversation, hard work and engagement.”

Illustrated Impact aims to help foster the kind of conversation and engagement that leads to such changes. Most posts are accompanied by donation links for relevant advocacy or social service groups.


Elizabeth De Jure Wood’s illustration that accompanied an interview with an official from the Oiled Wildlife Care Network during Earth month. Courtesy of Illustrated Impact.


But Lamb also said they try not go overboard on calls to action. “Not everyone is going to immediately fork over cash after seeing a nice picture, but my hope is that our work will familiarize or reinforce a concept, so when the opportunity to donate comes up, they have some good information and will be in the right mindset.”

Bri Piccari, a designer who follows Illustrated Impact on social media, said the project is an exciting example of a wider push in the design and illustration communities to create work with social impact. Piccari said the “design for good” ethos can manifest in a variety of ways, from providing pro bono services to community organizations to producing work that aims at solve social problems. Last year, for instance, AIGA — a national design association for which Piccari is a chapter president — worked with the League of Women Voters to produce 727 original designs for posters encouraging citizens to vote.


Molly Egan‘s illustration accompanied a post about Common Cause, an organization fighting to take money out of politics and promote equal rights. Courtesy of Illustrated Impact.


The design for good concept predates the 2016 election, but Lamb isn’t the only artist who has become more socially engaged since November. “Lots of people really feel the need to step up now, across all fields,” she said. “In my mind, illustrators are truly the best suited for spreading this kind of information, as we are trained to convey information in an immediate, clear, striking way that people can connect with.”

In addition to increasing awareness and action, Lamb said she loves the way Illustrated Impact has brought different people together. “When the subject of a story and an artist strike up any sort of relationship, it is just so lovely. Many have reached out to buy prints from the illustrators. Connecting with people, and connecting people who would never have met, is a real joy.”


Emily Isabella‘s illustration of Sojourner Truth was featured during black history month. Courtesy of Illustrated Impact.


The time involved in running Illustrated Impact is the biggest hurdle. “I’m hoping we make it look effortless, but we would love to have some extra hands around,” Lamb said. “More people from all different backgrounds would definitely lead to a more dynamic selection of stories.”

Illustrated Impact also plans to sell products incorporating the illustrations in the future, as a way to cover operating costs and drive more donations to organizations.


Related stories: How a design company is collaborating with a law group to ignite social change | Artist draws portraits of marginalized people to inspire unity and love | Celebrating black designers during Black History Month and beyond

for more illustrations from this story go to:

from Southern Poverty Center TEACHING TOLERANCE


Finding a Voice through Art- Child Refugees Speak with their Brush


06/20/2017 04:15 am ET

Child Refugees Document Horror Of Fleeing Their Homes Through Powerful Art

The youngsters are using their creativity to share their stories and speak for themselves.

Art is providing a powerful emotional outlet for a group of child refugees.

Youngsters who have settled in southeast England after fleeing unaccompanied from countries such as Syria, Sudan, Eritrea and Afghanistan have been tackling the trauma of displacement at British Red Cross-backed creative projects.

Some of those 14 to 19-years-old will now showcase their works at the free “All I Left Behind, All I Will Discover” exhibition at London’s OXO Tower from June 21 to 25.

This piece is one of more than 80 artworks by child refugees that will be on display at a new exhibition in London

More info:

Just sit back and imagine a remake of Trading Places. Thank You Syrian artist Abdalla Al Omari


Syrian Artist Paints World Leaders As Refugees

Trump, Obama, Merkel and more are depicted as displaced people.

Syrian artist Abdalla Al Omari is painting world leaders in an unexpected light: as refugees.

In “The Vulnerability Series,” Omari depicts President Donald Trump as an exhausted refugee, with a sleeping pad on his back and a child in his arms. The rest of the paintings, currently on exhibit at a Dubai gallery, show former President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and several other world leaders as “disenfranchised or displaced civilians,” per the gallery’s release.

more at:

Save the NEA -A Statement from Springboard for the Arts

The recently proposed budget from the Trump Administration calls for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and severe cuts to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. These are all programs that support America’s creativity and curiosity, and whose funding catalyzes new investment in communities across America. These cuts are part of an unprecedented set of cuts that will, collectively, impact communities and people who need these programs the most; specifically, underinvested urban neighborhoods and rural towns.

Furthermore, the drastic cuts and elimination of funding to programs like the Community Development Block Grants and Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, and important infrastructure like the Delta and Appalachia Regional Authorities will hurt our partners in community development and rural economic development at a time when their services are needed more than ever before.

The National Endowment for the Arts operates in every congressional district, funds organizations large and small, in rural and urban settings. We at Springboard for the Arts know the impact that NEA funding can have in our work and for the communities we serve, and we stand firmly in support of continued and increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and its fellow programs.

In the last 5 years, funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Has supported our work in significant ways. Funding from the NEA has allowed us to:

-Open an office in Fergus Falls, MN, a town of 13,000 people on the western edge of this state. This office now runs a residency program in a vacant property, provides small business development training, and supports people to plan for the future of their economy and community. The money the NEA has put into this effort has helped us leverage 10 times that amount in new private investment. These funds have directly supported a small community in Minnesota, and helped us create jobs and programs that directly contribute to attracting and retaining young people.

-Work with business districts across the country to help them connect with local artists to use creative strategies to draw people, attention and dollars to support local businesses directly. This funding is directly about supporting local business owners to do better and contribute more to their local economy and community. NEA support has helped us create a resource for others to do this work, which we share freely:

Investment that leverages 10x private dollars. Direct impact on local economies. Talent attraction and retention. Small business development. The NEA achieves this work through deep and broad partnerships, and through funding work that builds powerful social connection, strengthens identity, changes personal and community narrative, amplifies local agency and power, and helps people make meaning and connect to their humanity.

There have been sustained attacks on Federal funding of the arts and humanities over the years, and this is the time to act again. This budget proposal is just that, a proposal, which means It is important for people who care about arts and arts funding to contact their representatives. Americans for the Arts is currently running a media campaign #SaveTheNEA and has an easy form to contact your representatives:

MORE: Executive Director Laura Zabel in the Christian Science Monitor on the impact of NEA funding:

Actions: Hanging Art Shows after so-called Executive Orders

MoMA Hangs Art From Muslim Nations To Protest Trump’s Immigration Ban

In an act of curatorial subversion against the Trump regime, the Museum of Modern Art has replaced several works of art in its permanent collection galleries with works from artists who hail from nations affected by President Trump’s Muslim ban.

Jodi Hauptman, a senior curator at MoMA, told Gothamist that on Thursday night, after closing, the museum removed seven works, including paintings from Pablo Picasso, Francis Picabia, and Henri Matisse, and installed the new works, also from the permanent collection. Artists who whose works are represented in the museum’s protest include Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, Sudanese painter Ibrahim El-Salahi, and Iranians Tala Madani and Charles Hossein Zenderoudi.

According to Hauptman, the idea for the project started brewing last weekend, as the curatorial staff considered how the museum might respond to Trump’s executive order.

More at this website:

Art and Democracy


Arts & Democracy builds the momentum of a growing movement that links arts and culture, participatory democracy, and social justice.

Arts & Democracy cross pollinates culture, participatory democracy, and social justice. We support cultural organizing and cross-sector collaborations; raise the visibility of transformative work; connect cultural practitioners with activists, organizers, and policymakers; and create spaces for reflection.

Contact us at

The Project grew out of the National Voice 2004 campaign that engaged groups committed to constituencies who are underrepresented in the American decision-making. Through a series of convenings we learned what has, and hasn’t, been effective in building closer ties between arts and culture and sustained and strategic activism. Building on this knowledge we developed our program and decentralized network to creatively support transformative change.

What we do:
Arts & Democracy puts arts and culture on agendas where it hasn’t been before, connects artists, cultural organizers, and activists who wouldn’t otherwise know each other, and creates the connective tissue and generative environment needed for cross sector collaboration to succeed.

  • We share resources through our website, newsletters, social media, and presentations highlighting creative work that furthers immigration reform, environmental justice,equitable development, participatory democracy, and human rights.
  • Bridge Conversations bring to life the remarkable people who make change at the intersection of generations, cultures, sectors and geographies.
  • Cultural organizing workshops draw on our framework for building a robust practice where culture is fully integrated into organizing.
  • Our urban planning course links arts, culture, and participatory planning through experiential learning.
  • Networking events, roundtables, and conference calls raise the visibility of art and social justice and connect artists, cultural organizers, activists and policymakers.
  • Strategic partnerships connect community-based creative practice with policymaking and systemic change. With Service Employees International Union (SEIU) we are creating an artist in residency program to tell the stories of workers and their communities and provide a liberating experience of creation. With Participatory Budgeting NYC, we are integrating arts and culture into a neighborhood-based process of participatory democracy across the city.
  • We participate in NOCD-NY, a citywide alliance seeking to revitalize New York City from the neighborhood up.

Arts & Democracy is a fiscally sponsored project of State Voices


For more information on Art and Democracy please visit—

Northwest West midwest Northeast Southeast Southwest




Cultural Organizing for Social Change in New Orleans

July 19, 2014, Blue Plate Artist Lofts, New Orleans, LA

Two dozen artists and activists from the New Orleans area gathered for the 4th annual Cultural Organizing workshop, produced by Arts & Democracy in collaboration with Junebug Productions.

Cultural Organizing for Social Change, Frankfort, KY

Saturday, May 10, 2014, KY Domestic Violence Association, Frankfort, KY

Over 40 artists, organizers, activists and policy advocates from across Kentucky and beyond came together to participate in this day long workshop focused on Cultural Organizing for Social Change in Kentucky.  While the group was quite diverse, they shared a belief in the power of art & culture to advance social justice for all Kentuckians. The purpose of the workshop was to connect individuals, organizations and resources to create and sustain cultural organizing as a statewide strategy.

Cultural Organizing for Community Change, Frankfort, KY

Cultural Organizing for Community Change (Frankfort, KY) provided a space where artists, activists, cultural workers, organizers and educators from across Kentucky came together to strengthen their relationships, and deepen their capacity to use the tools of creativity, imagination, and culture for social justice organizing. This participatory workshop featured case studies, tools, strategies, networking and relationship building.

Culture, Planning, and Community Engagement Course

This experiential mini-course for Pratt Institute’s Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development investigated arts and culture, broadly defined, as a critical part of envisioning and building an equitable and sustainable Chicago. Through site visits, tours, and conversations with practitioners and policymakers we explored the intersection between arts, culture, media and participatory planning.

Stories & Places

March 5, 2013

Cultural practice and artistic expression breathe life into communities.They create opportunities for individuals and institutions to transform their sense of self and relationships with one another, and share their local traditions and ways of being.   

This conference call looks at the power of place-based culture to create community narratives, advance racial and economic equity, promote participatory democracy, and foster self-determination and inclusion in rural communities.  We will hear from five presenters about culturally-based work in a diverse range of contexts addressing themes that include traditional practice, opportunities for young people as emerging leaders, cultural economies, ecological and cultural stewardship and cross-sector partnerships.

SEIU artist residencies

Arts & Democracy Project and SEIU (Service Employees International Union) are partnering on artist residencies in six SEIU locals in Miami, Florida; Central CA; Las Vegas, NV; Minneapolis, MN; Toronto, ON; San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Each of the residencies will create an artwork to be presented at the SEIU convention in Denver in May 2012.

Anthropology as Social Activism

Alaka Wali and R. Lena Richardson on drumming circles, sustainable conservation, and valuing difference.

By R. Lena Richardson

You Can’t Evict an Idea Whose Time Has Come

By Caron Atlas

At the recent Policy Link Conference in Detroit, at a session called “Holding Ground,” presenters spoke about maintaining equity in a time of cutbacks. At the end of the session, one of the younger audience members asked where in all this talk of holding ground were the progressive ideas, the vision for the future. His question significantly shifted the room.

ACCESS and the Arab American National Museum

Since 1972, the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) has supported community building and empowerment for the Arab-American community in Dearborn, Michigan.  In May 2005, ACCESS opened the first-ever Arab American National Museum devoted solely to Arab-American history and art, in order to exemplify that art nourishes the spirit and helps to build relationships.

Los Angeles Poverty Department

The Los Angeles Poverty Department, founded in 1985 and rooted in Los Angeles’ Skid Row neighborhood, intends to “create performance work that connects lived experience to the social forces that shape the lives and communities of people living in poverty.”  These performances raise consciousness about social and political issues, while also creating opportunities for people to intervene in policy decisions that affect their lives.

Street Art for ACLU: Benefit Auction 2017

This site cannot take bids  you must go to Artsy at-

ACLU of Southern California + Artsy present Street Art for ACLU: Benefit Auction 2017, featuring Shepard Fairey, Colette Miller, Knowledge Bennett, and more.

For nearly 100 years, the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in a multitude of ways to preserve the individual rights and liberties that our system of governance was established to provide. In the current political climate, the importance of the ACLU’s efforts is manifold. Art, specifically street art, has long functioned as a political tool—even impacting international politics in profound ways.

We have gathered over forty significant contemporary artists—the large majority of them street artists—to raise awareness for the ACLU and generate support for the organization’s invaluable efforts.

Bidding will be open exclusively on Artsy and will close at 4:00pm PST on April 30th, 2017 (7:00pm ET).

Working primarily in the Downtown, Skid Row, and South Central neighborhoods, Bandit’s art is a fixture of Los Angeles’s streets. Coming from a background in graffiti, Bandit’s increasingly-intricate murals and stencils aim to confront his viewer with the most arresting socio-political issues of our time, with each piece poised to start a dialogue. “Street art,” in the artist’s words, “is more than just writing your name. It becomes a voice, and a responsibility.” His work is a unique expression of activism and social protest in which charged imagery is leveraged by the renegade act of its installation. Bandit has made contributions to Los Angeles’ famed Indian Alley and collaborated with many notable LA contemporaries including Plastic Jesus, WRDSMTH, Teachr, and thrashbird. Committed to work on the street, Bandit remains anonymous and is not represented by a gallery.

—Courtesy of Michael Carli

Signature: Signed

Other Works from the Auction

To view all go to

and place your bid

Street Art for ACLU: Benefit Auction 2017 Auction closes Apr 30, 7:00 PM EDT

Bidding closes Apr 30 7:00 PM EDT