The Arts We Need (TAWN) is a not-for-profit organization 501(c)(3), dedicated to providing Creative Arts Therapy and related arts programs to people with special needs and assisting programs that are either attempting to start an arts program or improve upon an existing program. TAWNwas founded on two principles. First, the arts are a necessity in life, not a luxury. Second, the Creative Arts Therapy approach to treatment can transform any disability into ability.

It is the goal of TAWN to become a worldwide leader in impacting the special needs community through the creative process. Financial support combined with a dedicated staff and a strong volunteer base will provide the necessary keys to the future opening of The Arts We Need Center in New York City.

Together we will ensure that people with special needs are recognized for their creative ability and are provided the most progressive and effective treatment available.

TAWN’s Founder/CEO featured on A&E’s Breakfast with the Arts

A&E’s nationally broadcasted show Breakfast with the Arts featured a segment on Creative Arts Therapy on January 30th, 2005, with a special highlight of the 9/11 Hope For The Future Art Therapy Mural Project. Footage of the Creative Arts Therapies was shown and Art Therapist Chriss Berk, Founder/CEO of The Arts We Need, Inc., provided commentary as a representative of the Creative Arts Therapy profession. Information about the show can be found at www.aetv.com.

Contact Us
The Arts We Need, Inc.
44 E. 32nd Street, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Phone: (800) 586-TAWN
Fax: (646) 390-3596
Why donate to TAWN?
I have been hesitant in the past to donate money to organizations because like you maybe, I was not sure where my donation would be applied to within the organization. Now I find myself on the flip side asking for donations! I would like to share with you TAWN’s beginning and clarify how your donation will make a difference in the lives of people with special needs and beyond.I founded TAWN in 2001 after working as an Art Therapist in special needs pre-schools. I enjoyed my work and was constantly challenged by the diverse needs of the children. Although the staff came to value Art Therapy and the children responded greatly to this form of therapy, Art Therapy was not a part of the school curriculum, therefore it often was viewed as a luxury and not a necessity (hence the NEED in The Arts We Need). Working with children who were often non-verbal and/or who were medically fragile meant that they struggled with development and learning compared to children with typical needs. Yet they shared a common strength, their love for and ability to create art. For me, the focus what not on what they could not do but on all they could accomplish. I gained a great respect for these students who had to overcome so much just to get through their day. My position was funded by a foundation and sad to say, it was not renewed for the next school year. So it was then that my frustration turned into fuel to start TAWN.When I first promoted TAWN the response from individuals, families and programs was tremendous. The demand far exceeded supply, an amazingly still does. Offering a Creative Arts Therapy program requires hiring a Creative Arts Therapist and either purchasing arts supplies or using donated arts supplies. Your tax-deductible donation will go directly to services and supplies. Because I have chosen to volunteer my time as TAWN’s CEO, administrative costs have been and will continue to be kept minimal. Simply put, I am a miser when it comes to our financial assets – the way I see it, every penny we save in one area goes directly towards programming. The more people that have access to Creative Arts Therapy services the better.

On behalf of the TAWN’s Board of Directors and volunteers we thank you for your time and consideration in helping to make TAWN a continued success in providing Creative Arts Therapy to as many people as possible.

Take care,
Chriss Berk, MA, ATR-BC, LPC


To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world
a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch
or a redeemed social condition; to know
even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Creative arts therapy