The Positive Signs Initiative Serves The Community Through Art

As an artist, Areli Pellegrino has always been passionate about making art accessible to everyone and using it as a way for self-care. So in 2021, she established The Positive Signs Initiative (PSI). “PSI is a community-based arts engagement aimed at creating meaningful connections that are equitable & accessible for all. PSI’s focus is to foster positivity & well-being through the language of the arts.”

There are a variety of ways that PSI serves the community. One is through helping companies of all sizes that want to create a more positive work environment offer retreats and wellness classes to their employees. “PSI will also serve large and small non-profit organizations that align with PSI’s [values and] want to promote wellbeing and positive experiences through the arts,” says Pellegrino. “These organizations will serve individuals which will include but not be limited to trauma survivors, homeless, domestic abuse survivors, individuals with disabilities, and more.”

PSI also strives to reach the community as a whole by offering a variety of workshops for people of all ages and skill levels. “I want to teach others that they do not need to have the skill set of DaVinci to enjoy art…creativity exists inside of all of us, and as an artist, it is my duty to help others to find their joy and their voice through art,” says Pellegrino.

Some of the previous activities have included a pop-up art workshop at Allentown Arts Park, a Practice of Mindfulness workshop for survivors at Valley Against Sex Trafficking Retreat, and a BIPOC BLM mural presentation at Northampton Community College.

“At PSI, our goal is to help bridge gaps in the community. Giving everyone the opportunity to engage in art as a way of self-care. We want to make the topic of mental health and the importance of self-care a number one topic, that is no longer stigmatized by our society. By making connections in the community, we build our communities stronger, in turn, bringing healing and support to all communities regardless, of race, class, gender, social or economic status.”