On October 6th 2017, during national mental illness awareness week, the art event ‘Mindscapes’ was held as part of the Penn Ave first fridays/unblurred monthly art crawl. Organized by Lizzie Manning (Ahmari Lab, Pitt) and Micah Shelton (Logan Lab, Pitt), Mindscapes sought to reduce misconceptions and stigma surrounding mental health by displaying artwork created by brain researchers from around Pittsburgh and people who have experienced mental illness side-by-side, to improve understanding in the community about both the scientific basis and lived experience of mental illness.
Thanks to generous support from the CNBC and a number of other research departments, scientific artwork could be sold at the event with all proceeds being donated to the Persad Center. The event had a great turn-out, and raised over $1200 for the Persad Center, which specializes in mental health services for the LGBTQ community, ranging from counseling and suicide prevention programs. Following the incredible success of Mindscapes we hope to make this an annual event!