Art and Creative Writing Festival Supports Talent of Mental Health Community
INDIO – The 15th Annual Desert Mental Health Arts Festival, a free community event that showcases art and poetry, and features community resources from mental health providers, will take place at the Riverside County Fairgrounds from noon to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 9.
Community members of all ages are invited to enjoy poetry, paintings, drawings, sculptures, jewelry, live music and door prizes. The festival will be held in the Taj Mahal Building at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio, off Arabia Street.
The annual event is part of Riverside County’s month-long observance of May as Mental Health Month, a national awareness campaign to promote a greater understanding of mental health.
The event is designed to stimulate positive therapeutic art programs and help reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, focusing on recovery and wellness of consumers and family members. The festival displays art and creative writing submitted by mental health consumers, family members, staff and community members whose lives intersect with the mental health community.
Additionally, approximately 25 organizations will provide information about their services in the community.
This year’s arts festival is dedicated in memory of the late Supervisor John J. Benoit for his efforts to improve mental health services. Supervisor Benoit also helped support the expansion of this event by bringing it to the Fairgrounds this year.
There is still an opportunity for artists and authors to submit entries. Up to three pieces of art can be brought to the Taj Mahal Building from 9 a.m. to noon Monday, May 8. A registration form must be attached to the artwork. The form is available at county mental health clinics or by email request to JLQMD@att.net.
Authors can submit writing entries by email to JLQMD@att.net. The deadline for writing entries is Thursday, April 27. Suggested topic ideas are “lemonade from lemons” and “what makes me happy.”
Prizes will be awarded for the top artwork and creative writing entries.
The festival is hosted by the Riverside County Desert Behavioral Health Advisory Board, and sponsored by Togo’s and Riverside University Health System – Behavioral Health.
For more information, contact Dr. Janice Quinn at JLQMD@att.net.