Maureen Foley

Courtesy Photo

Maureen Foley

Mud and Fire Community Project

Free Daylong Art Therapy Program in Carpinteria

The Thomas Fire and the devastating mudslides affected nearly everyone in our community. Even with the massive cleaning and recovery efforts, returning to day-to-day life can feel impossible for some. Inspired by the rehabilitation programs Japan offered following the 2011 Fukushima disaster, Carpinteria native Maureen Foley hatched the Mud and Fire Community Project, a free art therapy program taking place June 23. “Art can fill that void of sorrow and help to spur on healing,” explained Foley.

The event, which came together with help from the Carpinteria Woman’s Club and the American Art Therapy Association, consists of a six-hour workshop led by teams of fine artists and trained post-trauma art therapists that will “give families a chance to reflect and talk to a trained art therapist,” said Foley. The group will also create a collective art piece that will be displayed in the Carpinteria community at a yet-to-be-determined space.

Foley said that she wants the project “to plant a seed of creativity for our participants so they can start taking the challenges of their fire and mud experiences and alchemize them into art to gain a better understanding into the overwhelming event they just endured.” The workshop is free and still accepting sign-ups, although participants must be older than 5 years of age and children must be accompanied by their parents. Participants will get to take home their creations, and Foley hopes that everyone will “produce some art that is transformative, healing, beautiful, hopeful, raw, and deeply creative.”

The Mud and Fire Community Project takes place Saturday, June 23, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (workshop); 4-5:30 p.m. (reception), at the Carpinteria Woman’s Club (1059 Vallecito Rd., Carpinteria). For more information, see or email

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