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Hidden Truths Project

Senior Fellow: Dr. Julie Thompson-Dobkin
Subject: Education of key social issues through arts

 

Hidden Truths Project (HTP) is a program utilizing art as both an educational tool and a way of learning. The focus in its 2012 inception was the area of epilepsy with the purpose of abolishing barriers and misconstrued biases to educate and create understanding and acceptance of this condition. Through its affiliation with the Kant Institute, it has taken on a new role: expanding its mission to other challenging situations confronting our society, at-risk youth living in poverty confronted with opportunity gaps in learning, racial discrimination in the schools, and adult homelessness.

The inaugural event for Hidden Truths Project was an art show and fundraiser held in October of 2012 titled, Hidden Truths, the Mind Unraveled. The exhibit showcased reproductions of art created by artists living with epilepsy. In its first year, HTP was able to donate over $10K to Epilepsy Therapy Project (ETP) New Therapy Grants Program for the funding of translational research. In its second year, the event developed into a global movement, recruiting artists from Australia, Canada, Uganda, Ireland, and the U.K. Hidden Truths Project’s outreach has continued domestically, as well as internationally. In 2014, Hidden Truths, the Mind Unraveled highlighted the role of perception and its impact on the observer in creating understanding and empathy. Art has proven to be a universal language with the capability to educate the observer and society on the realities of epilepsy. In the words of the neurobiologist Semir Zeki, “Art constitutes knowledge; indeed is knowledge.”

After investing five years of successful fundraising of over $200,000 for translational epilepsy research, Dr. Thompson-Dobkin has expanded her vision of Hidden Truths Project to the underserved or unrecognized members of society confronted with poverty, housing insecurity, healthcare insecurity, opportunity gaps in learning, and racial discrimination in schools and local communities.

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