Unmasking Brain Injury - Alaska 2017

"The mission of Unmasking Brain Injury is to promote awareness of the prevalence of brain injury; to give survivors a voice and the means to educate others of what it’s like to live with a brain injury; to show others that persons living with a disability due to their brain injury are like anyone else, deserving of dignity, respect, compassion and the opportunity to prove their value as citizens in their respective communities."

This project is open to anybody with any type of traumatic or acquired brain injury and their family/ loved ones, to make a mask with an explanation of their art, to share what it feels like to live with a brain injury. Photos of the finished masks and explanations are put on the website and people can look at masks and stories from different states and around the world. Masks from Alaska become part of the Alaska exhibit. At exhibits and events, people are invited to share their experiences and raise awareness about brain injury by continuing to be involved in the project if they want to do more than make a mask. Because Alaska is so small and brain injury still has a stigma, participants can use initials or a fake name if they want to share their story but protect their identity. Alaska is the only state out of the 20 participating states with an individual instead of an organization doing this project - this means Alaska is the only state with someone paying out of pocket and volunteering to do this project. We work with groups and organizations to host mask making events, and then the groups can have their name on the project exhibit. We bring the masks and art supplies, and the orgs bring the space and the guest list! This way involvement is low risk/ high reward, and people can use space that already exists, and advertise to their own folks in their area. This project is ongoing.

Funded by Alaska (October 2017)