“To have people investing in my work really has pushed me to work harder to make the most of such a rare opportunity.”

– An Awakenings artist and grant recipient

“I used to have more fear around my pieces being understood, but the application process has really helped me to respect my experiences and let them show through in my art.”

– An Awakenings artist and grant recipient

“I’ve suffered from thinking that my experience with assault wasn’t violent enough to warrant the emotional wound that it’s left on me and to know that Awakenings was willing and able to give me support in trying to reconcile my feelings has been a boost to my heart.”

– An Awakenings grant recipient 

“I’ve avoided telling people that I am a survivor partially out of shame and partially because I don’t like the look of pity that people adopt when they learn your truth. Doing this work has made me unafraid to talk about my experience healing and has taught me the strength of being open with people about what the process of healing is like. I can’t be honest about that process if I’m not honest about my own trauma.”

– An Awakenings grant recipient 


Awakenings makes visible the artistic expression of survivors of sexual violence.


Founded in 2010, Awakenings is an organization dedicated to raising funds and awareness for rape and sexual abuse survivors who wish to pursue art for the purpose of self-expression and healing. Our Chicago-based art gallery is a special place that we’ve built to showcase the stories of survival that our artists share with our community of allies. Our goal is to help survivors find a sense of empowerment and peace through artistic expression, while also encouraging a candid conversation with the public about the cultural taboos surrounding rape and sexual abuse.

The Gallery

Logos and Take Aways