At first sight, Illuminations is one among many organizations providing a variety of programs and programming designed to raise and deepen awareness about the victimization of children for the general public. And like other such organizations, it also provides a wide spectrum of professionals with specialized training focused on fostering and refining skills related to the field of victimization.
But it is something more and something uniquely different.
Illuminations is personal.
It is a voice.
It is the voice of a young man who took so long to find a voice…and then a voice that could speak the breadth of the truth of his experience… of deception, betrayal, victimization and ironically of beauty, innocence, and an imagination which gives birth to hope. His critically acclaimed art, which lies at the heart of Illuminations, is his voice, his truth.
All of the events and programs which Illuminations makes available to the public and to the professional community are based upon and make critical use of his important artwork and become the framework for his voice. And yet, as much as it is his voice that speaks, it is equally theirs…
The voices of all victims.
A voice longs to be in dialogue hoping to be changed by the very act of speaking one’s own truth; hoping their voice will elicit a response of understanding and compassion; knowing, expecting that both will be transformed. Illuminations is at its core, then, a conversation. Or rather it arranges unique opportunities for such transformative conversations…
…in the gallery where the original artwork is housed in Baltimore,
…in the web gallery which you are cordially invited to visit,
…in small or large group gatherings of professionals for specialized workshops where this young man, known as J, and the individual begin their important conversation with one another.