The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS), in partnership with the Healing Arts Project, Inc., is celebrating Tennesseans in recovery. These individuals, who have experienced a mental illness or who have overcome substance abuse addictions, are expressing themselves through their artistic talents.
For the 10th year, Tennessee's Art for Awareness will bring together talented artists from across the state to share their creations with state legislators and others while at the same time raising awareness.
"Art is truly a powerful medium for people with mental illness to be able to communicate their experience to the world," said E. Douglas Varney, TDMHSAS Commissioner. "It's always so moving to hear the artists from across Tennessee speak about what creating art means to them."
10th Annual Art for Awareness
War Memorial Auditorium, 301 6th Avenue North, Nashville
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 1-3 p.m.
Over the past ten years, hundreds of Tennesseans who have experienced a mental health condition or struggled with substance abuse have expressed their story and situation through art.
"While their struggles are often very personal, we congratulate everyone who has participated over the years in sharing their recovery journey through artistic expression," said Lisa Ragan, Director, Office of Consumer Affairs and Peer Recovery Services. "I'm excited that this year we are celebrating 10 years of creative artists in Tennessee, and I hope some of the legislators purchase their constituents' art, like they've done in the past."
Participating artists will bring one example of their work to hang in Legislative Plaza for the entire months of April and May. Additionally, each piece will include a message about what the art means, allowing legislators and visitors the opportunity to become more aware of recovery and the healing art brings.
Along with the showcase of artwork, the Tennessee Coalition for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services is conducting its annual Behavioral Health Day on the Hill the morning of Wednesday, March 18, beginning at 9:30 a.m. It's an opportunity for providers, advocates and concerned Tennesseans to visit with lawmakers about the needs of Tennesseans who have experienced a mental health condition or struggle with substance abuse.