Creative Minds Project


The Creative Minds Project (CMP) is a Arts & Healing Initiative program that is supported by UCLA and the Donald A. Strauss Foundation. CMP integrates the innate social-emotional benefits of the arts with mental health practices at local homeless agencies in Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, and Venice.

The CMP brings art, drama, dance/movement, expressive poetry, music, and drumming groups to transitional-aged youth and adults living homeless. The CMP offers accessible, nonverbal, and universal tools that maximize the transformational value of the arts through a focus on the process of creative expression. The CMP believes that while the arts themselves are healing, even greater value can be obtained from the arts when a therapeutic dimension is added. The CMP works through metaphor by reflecting on the process of expression and the self that is revealed through this process.  By reflecting on unconscious themes revealed and facilitating meaningful dialogue that naturally follows, the CMP fosters self-awareness, insight, empathy, healing, wellness, and community.

The Creative Minds Project also offers programming at UCLA in the creative arts for healing and wellness. We have partnered in the development of the Creative Minds Project and support it continuously. We offer interns and pro-bono mental health professionals free access to CMP’s public experiential education programs.

The CMP Intern Team

This sustainable program is served by volunteers whom are creative arts therapists, therapists with experience integrating the arts, UCLA students, and Arts & Healing Initiative trainees. CMP facilitators include trainees who have completed the Arts & Healing Initiative Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts (SEA) and professionals offering pro-bono services. CMP assistants include UCLA undergraduates, graduate students, and trainees who have completed the Arts & Healing Initiative Social Emotional Arts on a Shoestring (SEAS) Training. The minimum time commitment is once a week for a 1.5 hour session, plus regular debriefings with agency and CMP supervisors.

Partner Agencies

The CMP is partnered with People Assisting the Homeless West LA (PATH WLA; 2346 Cotner Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90064), Safe Place for Youth (2469 S Lincoln Blvd, Venice, CA 90291), and The People Concern’s Access Center (503 Olympic Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401).

For More Information

If you are a student at UCLA, community volunteer, or trainee in the Arts & Healing Initiative SEA or SEAS programs, and you would like to be kept apprised of placement opportunities, please visit this page for updates, or contact

To request an application, and learn about the upcoming informational sessions, please email