Free Bird by Rachelle Viray
Mixed media

“My life is easily divided into two chapters: before mental illness and after mental illness. Likewise, my recovery is divided into two chapters: before Awakenings and after Awakenings.”

– Robert Lundin, Founder

The Awakenings Project is a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) tax-deductible nonprofit charity. This program is partially funded through a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.
Premiere art show, Lisle, Illinois 1997

The Awakenings Project is a grass-roots initiative in the Chicago suburbs, whose mission is to foster, advance, and support the creative efforts of artists with mental illnesses and/or addictions. In addition, The Awakenings Project works to raise public awareness, acceptance and appreciation of art by people in recovery in all creative endeavors but especially fine arts, music, literature, and drama.

the awakenings review

A literary journal published by The Awakenings Project.

Established with the support of the University of Chicago Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation in 2000, The Awakenings Review is one of the nation's leading literary reviews entirely committed to publishing the works of artists, writers, and poets with mental illness. The AR looks for submissions from writers and poets who have a distinct relationship to mental illness--either self, family member, or friend--who can utimately write about taking a positive direction in life.

  • Robert Lundin, Editor (
  • Audrey Sher-Walton, Associate Editor
  • Hope Andersen, Assistant Editor 
  • Lloyd Jacobs, Assistant Editor
  • Sandra Jo Mazurek, Art Editor
  • Virginia Goldrick
  • Richard Risemberg
  • Debbi Schroeder
  • Hank Sikora
  • Clair Sheldon
  • Em Turner Chitty
  • Mary Anna Scenga Kruch
  • Judith Sandler
  • Dave Fekete
  • Lora Keller



Spring [new beginnings_old friends] by Ryan Chacey, mixed media, 36x48”, 2024

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