How it All Started The PeaceLove Story

“I painted. It made me feel better. I thought it would help others.”

PeaceLove co-founder Jeff Sparr is a man on an audacious mission – to help millions of people create peace of mind through expressive arts and storytelling. A family man, self-taught artist, and teacher, Jeff is above all a survivor, battling Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) much of his life.

SEEKING PEACE OF MIND

On a whim, and with no background or training, Jeff decided to try his hand at painting. Like discovering a superpower, he found painting dramatically subdued the symptoms of his OCD, providing a creative outlet and sense of control. This discovery changed the course of Jeff’s life, and he wanted to share it with the world.

In early 2009, Jeff and his cousin Matt purchased a bunch of art supplies and headed to a children’s intensive treatment unit at the local psychiatric hospital. Jeff shared his story and struggles and challenged the kids to paint what gave them peace of mind. The kids not only had fun but were able to communicate through their art in ways that they couldn’t in words. This experience inspired the creation of PeaceLove.

PEACELOVE SPREADS

From 2009 to 2015, we shared our story and workshops in classrooms, hospitals, community centers, and corporate board rooms. We reached over 25,000 people in diverse communities and the result was always the same – participants experienced improved mental wellness and gained new tools to talk about mental health. As word spread about the work that we were doing and requests poured in, we realized we would need to change our model to meet the growing demand for our programs.

THE CREATORS PROGRAM

In February 2015, we launched the CREATORS program to address the increasing demand for PeaceLove programs nationwide. Through the CREATORS program we train and empower frontline professionals to deliver our life-changing expressive arts curriculum to their communities. CREATORS work directly with individuals, families, and groups to help them achieve improved mental health and better quality of life through artistic expression.

Meet Our Team

We’re a group of passionate individuals dedicated to making the world a more mentally healthy place. Our purpose is to empower people to share stories and create peace of mind through expressive arts experiences.

The opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of millions is what I'm most passionate about.

Jeff Sparr

Artist and Co-Founder

I love being a part of an organization dedicated to changing the way we think, feel, and speak about mental health!

Jen Sparr

CREATORS Coordinator

It's beautiful to witness the transformation that takes place when we are given permission to share our stories without fear of judgment.

Matt Kaplan

CEO and Co-Founder

I believe we can change the world by giving people a safe space to discover their inner creativity and share their stories.

Amy Kinney

Program Director

Through PeaceLove, I am able to use my creativity and passion for art to help others feel happier and healthier.

Eric Rice

Creative Director

I love being able to use creativity to help support this important mission of improving mental health for people everywhere.

Alli Leson

Art Director

PeaceLove is making the world a little brighter, a little more creative, accepting, and inspiring. I’m honored to be part of that.

Michael Gabrielle

CREATORS Trainer

I love how PeaceLove experiences allow people to transcend the barriers of language and stigma to express their innermost selves.

Allie Johnston

CREATORS Coordinator

I love being a part of something that is offering hope to so many and changing lives for the better.

Joy Lugo

CREATORS Coordinator

At PeaceLove it's gratifying to see dedication, resourcefulness and passion implemented in efforts to reach and help overlooked populations.

Gloria Sparr

Data Guru

I love that PeaceLove allows a safe place to explore your inner Picasso and be free about what self expression means.

Kimberly Guiry

Development

Board Members

Our board members are committed to making a difference in the world of mental health. With their love, support, and guidance, together we are changing people’s lives and making communities stronger.

Brian Harris

Boston Consulting Group

Edward Gates

Wolf Greenfield

Jason Park

Bain Capital

Jim DeMattei

Viewpoint Sales & Marketing

Steve Hill

Zappos.com

Larry Goldstein

Goldstein Associates

Mark Rowland

ROCeteer