Job placement is 100 percent for the first cohort of eight graduate students who earned a master’s degree in Art Therapy from Herron School of Art and Design this May, said Juliet King, program director and professor of Art Therapy. Launched only two years ago, the program has developed vigorously, in large part due to philanthropic support from individuals and foundations.
The Frank Curtis and Irving Moxley Springer Fund, a fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, put its support into bringing together Herron students—who must complete 1,000 hours of supervised, clinical training as part of their degrees requirements—and community members who can benefit from art therapy services.
Herron’s Art Therapy program is one of only 34 two-year, full-time, residential programs in the country—offering graduate art therapy education in preparation for the dual credentials of Registered Art Therapist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor.
Herron currently is working with nearly 30 community organizations to pair its art therapy students with programs that serve youths, adults, the aged and other vulnerable populations. Qualified professionals must supervise Herron’s students in a clinical setting. That requires investment.
Andrew Black, a grants officer of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, said “The Art Therapy grant was in alignment with The Frank Curtis and Irving Moxley Springer Fund because it promotes the making of art and provides important health and social services to improve the physical, mental and emotional well-being of people of all ages, many of whom are dealing with significant physical and/or mental health challenges.”
Frank began work at Eli Lilly and Company in 1937. He and his wife, Irving, became incredibly generous philanthropists. Both are now deceased, but their fund, established in 1998, will continue in perpetuity as they wished.
King said, “It’s exciting to see the full cycle of the impact of the program. We are helping children and adults cope with illness, injury and trauma while the graduate students gain the academic experience necessary to become a trained professional and contribute to the workforce of Indiana and beyond.” She added, “We are grateful to the Frank Curtis and Irving Moxley Springer Fund and CICF for the assistance in successfully developing the program.”
The program’s first eight graduates are Linda Adeniyi, Uriah Graham, Amy Granger, Katherine Hearn, Amanda Krieger, Heidi Moffat, Hillary Timmerman and Natalie Wallace. These alumni were hired by providers including Adult & Child Community Mental Health, MENTOR Network, Midtown Community Mental Health, Season’s Hospice, Legacy House, Meridian Health Services and Gallaudet University that provide school- and home-based counseling, health therapy and hospice care.
Nine students are projected to graduate in 2015 and 13 in 2016.
Black added, “Not only does this therapy provide counselors, therapists, or case workers with an additional and often times necessary alternative method for communication, it also provides some of our most vulnerable populations with a creative outlet that promotes self-expression, increases their ability to cope with their circumstances or challenges, and ultimately aids in their rehabilitative progress and contributes to their quality of life.”
To learn more about supporting Herron’s Art Therapy Program, contact Kim Hodges, Office of Development, by email or by phone at 317-278-9472.