Established in 1959, Thresholds provides healthcare, housing, and hope for thousands of persons with mental illnesses and substance use disorders in Illinois each year. Through care, employment, advocacy, and housing, Thresholds assists and inspires people with mental illnesses to reclaim their lives.


 There are various programs at Thresholds providing support for ArtLifting artists in their creative expression, including:


Thresholds’ Creative Arts Therapy Team

This team of creative and art therapists, offers workshops, a variety of creative art therapies in group and individual settings, and community art making as tools for recovery and expression. The team also provides outreach art therapy by going into the community in order to work with Thresholds members throughout the state.


Thresholds Bridge South 

Created in 1997, the Nathan and Kiyoko Lerner Foundation celebrates the legacy of Henry Darger’ artwork and supports a diverse community of artists at Thresholds Bridge South. The foundation, through its Open Studio on the south side, provides a nurturing environment for artists with mental illnesses to realize their creative visions, develop technical skills, experiment with media and exhibit their artwork.


Thresholds Bridge West 

The West Side program began initially as an open art studio on the west side of Chicago to help members waiting for the psychiatrist to relax and build supportive relationships. Today, this program continues to enable people struggling with mental illness to engage in self-expression through painting and drawing, and has expanded to include ceramics, taking sketching trips outdoors, and exploring art history and contemporary art resources in Chicago. Artists are encouraged to develop “big ideas” leading to larger collaborative projects, such as making films and working on a large mosaic installation at a neighborhood art center.


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