Outsider Art Cart

The Painted Brain creates lasting community-based solutions to mental health challenges and the impact of social injustice through arts, advocacy and enterprise. We are a non-profit group of mental health professionals and consumers using multi-media to bring together and give voice to individuals fighting for their own and others’ well-being.

With the homeless population of Los Angeles at crisis proportions — some of this caused by mental illness, and much of this causing mental illness — we at Painted Brain are uniquely knowledgeable and experienced to offer a humane and creative street-based art intervention, fostering meaningful communication and connection with those who are marginalized, disenfranchised and isolated. Reducing stress and harm, fostering trust and respite, addressing trauma along with unwanted mental and physical experiences, providing purposeful expression and activity within a safe, caring, and consistent relationship, facilitating linkage to further help, and always sharing hope — these are our goals with the Outsider Art Cart’s outreach.


Will art help people living on the streets? Yes indeed. Is it enough? Not at all, but art is a conduit to communication, connection, and community. Having something to show and say for oneself is empowering. Having someone actively listen to and see you is life-affirming. We want to share others’ stories, because they matter. We want to help others take back control of their narrative, because this matters. We want to partake in perspectives, foster dignity and esteem, create and find meaning together.


Facing a blank page is a courageous act. One must draw the first line, write the first note, believe in oneself and the audience. But, before even that, one must first be able to imagine such possibility. This is the optimism and opportunity we hope to offer… the chance to be a part of something beautiful on the way back to home.


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