Living Art of Montana’s mission is to use the arts to support healing. We have been active since 1993. In 1998 Living Art incorporated and became a 501c3 organization. Prior to that time we worked under the umbrella of Montanans for Quality Television and then Very Special Arts Montana. Living Art has offered hands-on opportunities for expression and connection for over 7,000 people facing illness and loss. Our programs are offered to people in Western Montana who have cancer, an acute or chronic disease, are suffering the consequences of treatment, have a significant loss in their lives, and caregivers. Because so many of our participants are carrying heavy financial burdens due to their illnesses, Living Art is committed to making our service programs free of charge.
Our service programs provide participants an opportunity for social connection in a safe non-medical environment with others who have some understanding of what it’s like to deal with illness or loss. Making art offers a reflection of self that is about life; it can remind us who we are aside from what we're going through. Living Art honors the truth of a person’s experience and at the same time recognizes and encourages each person’s strengths, creativity and potential.
The benefit to participants is expressed by the following quote. “I had no place for my emotions roiling below the surface. The poems, metaphors and different creative explorations gave me a vehicle to let them out… The jump from confusion to resolve and vision in my work shows how the act of expressing my despair and pain, free me to take the next step to images of hope.” Workshop participant