AFT provides trauma survivors a means to heighten their awareness, creativity and engagement by pairing them with an artist from an art discipline that speaks to their heart. Here are some success stories.

Ford and Bruce

Ford Austin and Bruce Eckstut

Ford Austin survived a horrific car accident in March 2011. His inspiring letter to Artists for Trauma a year after his accident became one of our first blog postings, and now two years after his accident, he is singing, dancing, and, even more importantly, he is acting again.

Artists for Trauma began working with Ford as our first “student artist” later in 2011. In order to help Ford re-discover his voice (literally), we were able to pair him with Bruce Eckstut, esteemed vocal coach and originator of the Primal Sound Voice Method which allows individuals to reconnect and re-train their voices in speech and song.

Ford described his experience working with Bruce and his transformation through re-discovering his voice. Bruce came “to my home and trained with me by simply making yawning noises for weeks. By doing this, my body relearned how to relax so my throat could open and make good sound. I regained the connection to my voice soon after that and by that time, my body helped enough that I could go to the singing coach’s house to continue my progress to learning actual songs. After four months, I had learned two songs, gotten my voice back and also regained my ability to connect my intention to my voice with inflection and the use of subtext. My passion for acting was restored and my spirits were lifted each time I sang.”

Bruce shared that, “it was a true privilege to be a very small part of Ford’s journey of recovery. I remember vividly going to Ford and Lauree’s apartment for the first time to give Ford his first voice lesson. He could barely sit up on the edge of his bed and his voice was so weak but his spirit was so willing. Then when he was able to come to my studio it was beautiful to witness the healing power of singing. The whole experience was deeply moving and I am grateful to Lauree and Ford for their generous and loving spirits.”

Bruce and Ford were happy for us to share a video excerpt of their work together.
Ford’s wife, Lauree Dash, shared with us her perspective in a lovely follow-up to Ford’s original letter, which you can also read in our blog.

Artists for Trauma Volunteer Artists

AFT volunteer Artists give their time and creativity, but equally as vital, they share their spirit with our Level 1 Trauma survivors. As Artists for Trauma is about creation and re-creating lives, we refer to our trauma survivors as student artists. They are learning new skills and new ways to create new versions of themselves. Once paired with one of our volunteer artists, the participating student participates in ten, two hour sessions in their chosen area of interest. All required supplies are provided by AFT.

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