Broken Light Collective is an online photography gallery for people living with or affected by mental illness. Since its inception in 2012, it has drawn contributors from around the world who have experienced a wide range of mental and developmental challenges, including depression, anxiety and panic disorders, bipolar, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, dissociative identity disorder, trichotillimoania, eating disorders, substance abuse, PTSD, OCD, ADD/ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorders.
We are now officially a non-profit organization, but we need your help to get up and running! We just got our 501(c)3 status which makes us a full national charity and means all donations are tax-deductible! Please donate and take advantage of the tax break as well as these fun rewards!
We are raising funds to continue running exhibits and begin therapeutic photography workshops, many of which will be aimed at helping college-aged individuals. The college years are a very vulnerable time of transition during which mental health problems can arise. The photographic and behavioral health techniques taught in these workshops will show at-risk college students how photography can be used to reduce stress, anxiety, depression as well as prevent self-harm and suicide. We also intend to run similar workshops geared towards individuals with Autism as well as Veterans with PTSD.
The workshops will be run by a photographer and a mental health professional. The workshops will feel like an art class, but also have the added benefit of being a mental health support group that will encourage students to use photography and creativity both as a tool for self-expression and as a mindfulness tool to stay present, instead of lost in negative or suicidal thoughts. We will also encourage students to fight stigma, raise awareness, and not be afraid to get help as needed from mental health professionals.
Where are your donations going?Anti-Stigma Exhibitions (raising awareness & funds for BLC & artists w/mental illness)
- location fees (galleries, restaurants, event spaces)
- travel (for BLC and mental health speakers/experts)
- printing of selected photographs
- framing of selected photographs
- misc. production costs (hanging, receptions, speaker fees...)
- locations fees
- travel (allowing us to get to more colleges & other locations)
- photography teachers & mental health facilitators
- equipment (rentals, disposable cameras, printed materials...)
EXTENDED GOAL: $25,000
Danielle Hark - Founder/Director
Danielle is a freelance magazine and book photo editor, professional photographer, and widely published mental health & wellness writer near NYC. Danielle is also a Certified Professional Life Coach specializing in mental health and creativity. Danielle created Broken Light Collective in March of 2012 when she was going through a severe depressive episode. With support and encouragement she found that when she began photographing again it was a powerful tool, both personally and therapeutically. It helped bring light to certain mood states and areas of her life that she could not articulate with words. It helped her get out of bed and begin to engage with the world again. Danielle started the Collective because she wanted to encourage other people who might be going through difficult times (or their family and friends since it affects everyone), to keep creating, sharing, and supporting each other. Broken Light has been fighting stigma, growing, and spreading the Light ever since.
Click here to read Danielle's recent article 'Coming Out of the Bipolar Closet' on the Huffington Post.
Our first live exhibit ran from Jun 26th - Aug 13, 2014 at Fountain Gallery, NYC. It contained works of 36 Broken Light Collective photographers affected by mental illness. Help us run more programs like this to fight stigma, raise awareness, and support photographers affected by mental illness.
Read/see/hear more about Broken Light Collective on our 'press' page. Recent press coverage includes...
Rewards include the following prints...
Photography by contributors: Carrie Hilgert (www.carriehilgert.com), Craig Miller (www.thisishowitfeels.com), and Danielle Hark
Donors who choose a photography print as their reward will be contacted at the end of the campaign in September to select their print of choice.
With your help and generosity we can make a difference in the lives of countless individuals affected by mental illness! Please donate what you can.
All donations will be tax-deductible!