9MUSES ART CENTER – MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT AND RECOVERY
We are a program of The Mental Health Association of Southeast Florida designed to provide adults with mental health issues an opportunity to participate in fine arts classes with recovery workshops, and groups to support mental health and wellness. Participants may choose from a broad array of visual and performing arts. Classes and personalized instruction along with individual studio time allow members to create according to his/her own personal “muse”. Members can engage in stimulating activity, free from the stigma of mental illness. Support groups for depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar depression, and schizophrenia are held weekly.
9Muses has been promoting mental health awareness throughout the community for over twenty years and functions successfully as a peer-run organization. Members are free to come and go, and participate in any class they wish or sit and enjoy coffee and conversation with other members. Positive interaction promotes self-empowerment and increases mental health awareness and strengthens individual recovery.
In 1994, a mental health art center was inspired by a phone call to the Consumer Affairs Director from a case manager who was concerned about a client ready for discharge from the state hospital. The individual was a talented artist and only wanted to do art. Meetings were initiated with local consumers who were artists or those interested in the arts to solicit their suggestions. The Department of Children & Families was persuaded to fund a drop-in center with a focus on the arts, called Hot Sketch Studios. After a year and a half, attendance was low and the sponsoring agency chose not to continue service.
In October 1996, the Mental Health Association of Southeast FL, which had been selected by the Hot Sketch members, agreed to sponsor the program. The name was changed to 9Muses Art Center and since then membership and attendance have increased to over 4,000 members. The Center is a working art studio. Many diverse workshops are offered each month along with outings and social events. 9Muses artists have exhibited in public libraries, corporate buildings, government agencies, and psychiatric units, participated in community events & exhibits, developed ongoing relations to exhibit at local businesses, showcased during luncheons and special events that further our mission and our own Gallery & Frame Shop provides continual opportunities for members to exhibit at a variety of community events. Our members have been commissioned to produce murals for a number of hospital crisis units and the state hospital. We are on the internet as part of the Mental Health Association of Southeast Florida and our support and wellness meetings, projects, activities, and artworks are facilitated by many of our artists.
In addition to fine arts classes (drawing, acrylics, watercolor, charcoal, pastels, etc.) there are lessons in guitar, piano, percussion, and voice. Classes in poetry, creative writing, drama, dance, clay, ceramics, potter’s wheel, hand building, jewelry making, woodworking, computers, as well as outings and social events, recovery workshops and self-help support groups.
Artistic expression and community integration at 9Muses promote understanding and acceptance both for those with mental illness and for those without. Together with our members, we make a difference, challenging stigma, embracing expression and, creating opportunity via the arts.
9Muses Frame Shop provides personalized, quality service designed to provide framing and preserving your cherished artwork, photographs, even keepsakes, a simple and rewarding pleasure. All of our trained artisans work closely with you to choose the elements that will make your vision a beautifully finished piece. We carry a large selection of molding samples from a variety of companies. We also carry a full line of acid-free mats from Crescent. A 20% discount is offered to 9Muses & MHA membership.