The healing power of art is undeniable, and the founders of .ART Domains, Ulvi and Reikhan Kasimovs, recognize this as they launch their Art Therapy Initiative. The initiative is focused on raising awareness of the importance of art therapy as a vital need in today’s world, and a portion of the revenue generated from the sale of .ART domains goes to support The Art Therapy Initiative and its non-profit partners.

The Kasimovs have pledged a $1 million endowment for graduate fellowships for students in the Art Therapy Program at George Washington University (GW) as the first step in their ongoing mission to support art therapy. By doing this, they hope to attract and retain top students who have a passion for serving others and providing quality art therapy services to the community, especially during these stressful times.

Ulvi Kasimov, the founder of .ART, says,

“The pandemic negatively impacted everyone, whether they realize it or not, and there are not enough psychiatrists and psychologists in the world to address a problem of this magnitude. Now, more than ever, the world needs access to the therapeutic benefits of art.”

The Art Therapy Program at GW is one of the first of its kind in the United States, and students explore all aspects of art therapy, trauma training and diagnosis, and complete 900 internship hours with direct client contact in the on-campus clinic. Heidi Bardot, the director of the Art Therapy Program at GW, says,

“The scholarship and continued support for art therapy students are so essential for our students. So often students are drawn to this field because they want to assist people in healing; however, they are overwhelmed by financial struggles. This scholarship will help to diversify the art therapy field and will take some of the financial stress away, supporting both students and future clients.”

Beyond the scholarship, .ART plans to deepen its collaboration with the Art Therapy Program at GW and leverage support from its global creative community to create virtual programs and fundraising events that raise awareness of art therapy and the healing effects of art.

Grammy Awards artist, TED Speaker and Guinness World Record holder Phil Hansen, a partner of the Art Therapy Initiative, comments:

“On numerous occasions, art has been a way for me to preemptively process difficult things in life. I believe art can be a tremendous way to navigate all kinds of complexities. Art therapy and ‘art as therapy’ are practical tools that should not be overlooked in this critical time.”

Art therapy is a recognized form of psychotherapy that uses creative processes to improve mental health, self-awareness, and personal growth. It can reduce stress and anxiety, improve communication skills, aid conflict resolution and identity exploration, and provide a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Art therapy is a versatile and powerful tool for emotional healing and personal development.

The Kasimovs have always been active philanthropists, having supported several initiatives, including the Jerusalem-based Shalva and the “Flowers for Medics” charity campaign. The public was invited to create flower paintings using any medium and submit them under the hashtag #Flowers4Medics. The campaign received widespread recognition and was picked up by museums and galleries, including The Multimedia Art Museum, which hosted an exhibition of the collected works and held a charity auction at the end of the exhibition.

The Art Therapy Initiative is a natural extension of their philanthropic endeavors, and it resonates with them on a personal level. The Kasimovs’ daughter Medina found her voice through art. Today she is an established artist in her own right, and for her, art was instrumental in the process of finding her voice, not just through painting as a medium, but in life itself.

The Kasimovs’ Art Therapy Initiative is an important ongoing mission to be supported by the business of .ART domains.

Read the official press release