Celebrating Ten Years of the Lilly Reintegration Awards - Where Are They Now?
Park Place ART Group, Asbury, New Jersey
2003 Lilly Reintegration Award, Artistic Achievement
If a picture is worth a thousand words, think how much a van full of students taking a trip to New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art for the first time was worth. According to Mary Floyd, Director of Park Place ART Group, it was “the experience of a lifetime” for her students.
Park Place ART group is a 2003 Lilly Reintegration Award Winner for Artistic Achievement. The program, affiliated with the Jersey Shore University Medical Center, was awarded the honor for using art therapy in its partial hospitalization program to treat individuals with mental illnesses.
To celebrate their accomplishment, the group used a portion of its award money to fund an all-day trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in February 2004. (And, now that Medicaid no longer reimburses hospitals for outings and the program cannot often take students out of the building anymore, the trip to New York City is that much more precious a memory and experience.)
Since receiving the award, the Park Place ART Group has continued in its success and expanded its membership to include lower-functioning consumers. The program now provides artistic programming once a week, every week to over 20 consumers. Students choose something they enjoy doing - from jewelry making to painting to quilting - and work on individual art projects while in the company and comfort of fellow students.
The program allows students to foster their own abilities and talents as well as to stay adept in the current goings-on of the art world, through magazines and books. One former ART group student is even going on to a local community college to pursue a degree in graphic art. And most importantly, according to Ms. Floyd, everyone “really seems to enjoy the experience.”