Interested in creating exciting art? 

Beginning in January 2018, the Parkinson’s Outreach Association will collaborate with the Florida State University Art Therapy program and the FSU Museum of Fine Arts to host museum-based art therapy sessions at the Association’s office in Tallahassee. The sessions will provide opportunities for individuals with Parkinson’s, family, and caregivers to engage in a museum-informed experience, utilize the art-making process to foster physical, psychological, and emotional well-being, and create unique, satisfying, and “museum quality” artwork.


During the 2018 spring semester at FSU, Art Therapy Interns Michelle Torrech-Perez and Elissa Pizzutto will work for the FSU Museum of Fine Arts (MoFA), and will introduce us to an emerging area of art therapy: Museum-based art therapy.  Offering a combination of museum education and art therapy, sessions first explore themes and artwork from a particular art exhibition at the FSU MoFA, including participants’ understandings of topics discussed, perspectives on art examined, and associations to their own life experiences.  Art therapy directives are then provided to further explore such topics and/or artwork, experience art therapy benefits (e.g. improve motor handicaps and allow novel self-expression), and allow the creation of rewarding, “museum quality” art pieces.  The artists will be provided the opportunity to display their artwork in a museum-style exhibition at the POA office for others to experience and appreciate.  In special instances, a visit to the FSU MoFA will be included!  Michelle and Elissa are excited to offer such museum-enhanced art therapy to the community!


Meet the Art Therapy Interns!

Michelle Torrech-Perez is a second-year Art Therapy student in the Master’s in Art Therapy Program at FSU.  Providing therapeutic arts in an after-school program and the hospital setting, she graduated in 2016 from the University of Tampa with a degree in Art with a concentration in Art Therapy and a minor in psychology.  Throughout her graduate studies, she has provided art therapy at a local adult day care center, and at a special education school, where she capitalized the therapeutic potential of art for the benefit of those she served.


Michelle was drawn to art therapy due to her early exposure to and love for the visual arts, as well as her unwavering commitment to be of service to others. When her mother came across the profession, which combines art with psychology, Michelle knew she was meant to be an art therapist! Since then, her passion for art therapy continues to strengthen, her own art-making evolving to an exploration of the interplay between watercolor and markers.  Devoted to artistic expression, the therapeutic power of art, and the assistance of others, she is committed to enhance well-being through both the artistic process, and the resulting art piece.


Elissa Pizzutto is also a second-year Art Therapy Masters student at Florida State University.  She is a first generation American with family living in Italy and Canada.   Elissa worked throughout her high school and undergraduate degree as a youth specialist and special education care provider for children with intellectual and physical disabilities.  In addition, Elissa received her license as a Certified Nursing Assistant, caring for residents in an older adult medical center.  She graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor’s in Studio Art and a minor in Psychology and French.


Elissa was first introduced to the field of art therapy while working in the medical field in high school.  It was then that she realized she could combine her interests in the arts and mental health professions to aid others in her community.  Throughout her graduate studies she worked in a medical day facility for infants and toddlers, providing sensory based art therapy to inspire discovery and enrichment.  She then provided art therapy for preschool children in Hispanic migrant farming communities to aid children in school readiness and mental health support.  She also worked in rural elementary, middle and high schools to provide art therapy services to school aged children and young adults with behavioral and social concerns.


Currently, Elissa is working with the Museum to provide multidisciplinary art education and therapeutic services to Older Adults.  Elissa’s dream is to continue providing interdisciplinary mental health services to her local Florida community in various settings.


Please stop by and have an informative, therapeutic, and enriching experience in a welcoming environment.  Art skills are not needed!  Art materials will be provided.  Family, caregivers, and friends are welcome!


Art therapy sessions are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM, and Fridays from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM at the Parkinson’s Outreach Association office located at 285 Pinewood Drive, Tallahassee, Florida 32303.  If you have any questions or if you’d like to attend an art therapy program session, please contact the Parkinson’s Outreach Association at (850) 364-0230, or email


Parkinson’s Outreach Association
285 Pinewood Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32303


Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 – 11:30 AM and Fridays from 1 – 3 PM