ACA Arts & Wellness

In 2012 Atlantic Center for the Arts (ACA) began an initiative to integrate various forms of the arts into wellness in the community and in health-care settings. The arts are a tool of expression, discovery, social interaction, lifelong learning, and recovery. ACA Arts & Wellness programs strive to enhance the quality of life for our community by connecting mind, body, and spirit through creativity. With the support of the Pabst Charitable Foundation for the Arts, our organization has been at the forefront of producing innovative resources for all ages. Our team of artists, music therapists, art therapists, and volunteers work together to provide meaningful experiences that accentuate well-being through the arts. ACA works with a wide range of artists and partners to establish ongoing dynamic programs that aim to increase the health and wellness of elders, caregivers, active adults, youth, and artists. ACA Arts & Wellness ambassadors believe that every generation can share their inner artist and learn from each other.

Rooted in the National Center for Creative Aging’s Creative Caregiving initiative, Atlantic Center for the Arts programs include:

  • Weekly visits to nursing homes and assisted living facilities where artists incorporate poetry, painting and movement into programming, allowing residents to be creative.
  • Providing support and resources that assist both caregivers and their care recipients to have more substantive experiences together.
  • Offering Arts and Wellness programming to relieve stress, build self-esteem and enhance quality of life for lower income communities, youth in foster homes, and wider populations of at-risk youth in Volusia County.
  • Presenting Arts and Wellness workshops, retreats, and classes that are open to the public, including intuitive painting, expressive journaling, and music and movement.
  • Team and skill-building workshops for healthcare professionals, and educational institutions.
    Internship opportunities for medical, arts, and psychology students.Please contact us to find out more about joining a program, or customizing opportunities for your facility and staff.

 For full program details visit our Calendar of Events


ACA Arts & Wellness Instructors

Laura Bohn headshot Laura K. Bohn is a professional artist, art educator and art therapist MAAT. She recently completed her Master’s degree in Art Therapy in December 2014. She has been an art educator for many years and is now an art therapist available for facilitating art and wellness workshops. She has exhibited at the Florida Museum for Women Artists, De Land Museum of Art, IGM gallery in Los Angeles and Wolfe Gallery in De Land, Florida.  Some of the art festivals she has exhibited at includes IMAGES, Mount Dora, Gaspiralla, De Land, and Maitland.  Laura has taught classes and workshops at De Land Museum of Art, Ormond Memorial Museum of Art, The Hub, Casa Montessori School and Children’s House Montessori School, and now shares her talent at Atlantic Center for the Arts leading workshops in expressive arts.

vicki gross headshot Vicki Gross (MT-BC) is a graduate of Florida State University, and has made a career of practicing music therapy. She has worked at ACT Corp. (which was The Human Resource Center) in the Daytona Beach service area as a day treatment and social network counselor, and ran the first Adult Day Care Center (Extended Family) in New Smyrna Beach, FL. In the year 2000, her personal practice, Comprehensive Music Therapy Services was created to bring services to the East Central Florida community.  Center Schools in Volusia County were being disbanded as disabled children were being accommodated in contained classrooms in regular schools throughout the county and a new music therapy career challenge presented itself.  Over the past 14 years, she has served many people and programs including intellectually challenged residents of The Duvall Home, the Homeless Day Treatment Program in Deland, children in foster care, elderly residents of area nursing homes and assisted living facilities, hospice patients and more. The main thing Vicki wants to convey is that her passion for music therapy is ever present.  She is humbled by the many people who understand and love the power of music, the way music can express when words can’t, and how music can create, establish and renew life and relationships.

ACA_BabeJames Shy Morris, Atlantic Center for the Arts Community Artist is an integral part of ACA’s ongoing efforts offer unique art related programming to New Smyrna Beach. Shy draws upon her vast experience as a community based artist, including three years working with ACA Master Artist and MacArthur Genius Award Recipient Rick Lowe at Project Row Houses in Houston. She also has an educational background in early childhood studies, and creates fun, thoughtful art programming designed to encourage and educate children, teens, and adults.

DSCF7256 Peggy Imbert has been with Atlantic Center for the Arts for several years, and works with our volunteer league, in addition to bringing the Creative Caregiving Guide to assisted living facilities in New Smyrna Beach. She brightens the room with her energy, and shares the joys of life with elders living with cognitive disorders by focusing on the present moment. Her background is in arts and early childhood education.

C0SCaPOWQAA0B7kEve Payor joined Atlantic Center for the Arts as a musician and electronic soundscape artist. Her arts advocacy focuses on the connection between music, environment, and wellness. In the Fall of 2016, she created an Arts and Wellness program of soundwalks, which gave the public opportunities to experience their natural surroundings through listening techniques, meditative breathing, and mindfulness.  Eve also mentors youth to help them find their creative spark, develop professionalism, and real-world assets for careers in the arts.

DSCF7596Bethany Bennett Behr is an interdisciplinary artist who earned her Bachelors of Fine Arts from the University of Central Florida and her Masters of Fine Arts from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The art work she produces question women’s equality and role in society. Her investment in the community is to boost others confidence and self-worth through artistic practices. Currently she works with the Children’s Home Society of Florida and Atlantic Center for the Arts, offering art courses to children in group homes.

Morgan Kelly Morgan Kelly is a professional teaching artist with a passion for puppetry. She has taught in Florida, New York, New Jersey, and holds a Master’s degree in Educational Theater from NYU. Morgan has worked with youth and families in a diverse array of puppetry artforms from theater performance to traditional folk archetypes. She explores themes of arts, wellness and personal transformation within the expressive and surreal possibilities of puppetry.

77013_orig Rachel Chase has been a teaching artist since the age of 15. She began expressing through dance. First a classically trained ballerina, then a semi-professional modern dancer studying with the likes of Alvin Ailey dance company, and dancing professionally in the Orlando area; as well as trained in theater arts. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of South Florida with a bachelor of fine arts, integrating video art and performance, as well as painting and printmaking.  Rachel has continued teaching movement and art to children and adults in community settings for over 15 years. She is currently working toward her Master’s degree in mental health counseling. As a therapist, she continues using expressive and visual arts as therapeutic processes, assisting others on their journey to well-being and wholeness. It is the power of play and creative expression that have always propelled her life into new and uncharted territory. She is constantly creating, and has a passion for consciously creating community. Join her in this ever-evolving process of intuitive creation.

Sloan headshot pic Lucinda Sloan, mezzo soprano, is Professor of Music at Midland Lutheran College.  Dr. Sloan holds degrees in music performance from Radford University and the University of Illinois where she was a student of the world-renown coach/accompanist John Wustman.  She has performed with the Omaha Symphony, the Lincoln Symphony and Opera/Omaha and as a soloist with many regional choral organizations.  Her credits include that mezzo soprano solos in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Mass in C Major, Verdi’s Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Mozart’s Requiem and Great Mass in C.  Dr. Sloan is also an active recitalist.  He has presented recitals for the state and regional National Association of Teachers of Singing.  In September 1999, she performed a series of recitals of Hugo Wolf’s Mörike Lieder with conductor/pianists Lionel Friend from London, England. The Omaha World Herald declared the performances to be “a towering accomplishment that will stand as one of the regions music high points of the year and even the decade.”  She also performed Schuber’s Winterreise with Mr. Friend at Midland and the Joslyn Art Museum’s Bagel and Bach series that was broadcast over KVNO.  She has performed Winterreise with John Wustman in Omaha.  Dr. Sloan is also active in the fields of humanities and religion.  She has given papers in national conferences and Schubert and Beethoven.  She was also a member of the National Board of the Lilly Fellows Program in the Humanities and the Arts.  She is currently on the board of the Artists’ Workshop in New Smyrna Beach where she teaches art history courses.


Awinifred johnson clive foundation Logo_With Girl on Swing_CLIVErt and Wellness programs are supported in part by the Winifred Johnson Clive Foundation.  The Mission of the Winifred Johnson Clive Foundation is to keep the spirit and passions of Winifred Johnson Clive alive by funding programs and organizations that she supported during her lifetime, and by responding to new organizations that embody and extend her philanthropic heritage. Accordingly, the Winifred Johnson Clive Foundation will fund projects benefiting her churches, education, the arts, and wildlife conservation. The Mission also encompasses projects which respond to the challenges of aging, promote the welfare of children and animals, and address problems encountered by victims of domestic violence, abuse and neglect. Learn more


Pabst-Charitable-Foundation-for-the-ArtsMind. Body. Spirit. The Pabst Charitable Foundation for the Arts is a leader in fostering awareness and action for the growing belief and field of work that integrates creativity arts, wellness, and health, particularly when illness strikes families. Our mission, identifying both interdisciplinary and innovative initiatives for impact on community, continues to foster development and research on outcomes that can make a difference for people, especially families challenged by illness.  Learn more