Pop-Up Art & Wellness: Pop into Resilience

Supporting our community through Community Resiliency Model (CRM)®

Findings of the last two Community Health Needs Assessments, conducted by Corewell Health in Southwest Michigan, revealed that the most urgent community-identified health need was support for mental health, including support for mental illness, substance misuse, and the underlying stress and trauma. To address this need, Corewell Health developed the “Pop-Up Art & Wellness Center: Pop into Resilience” project in collaboration with community partner Krasl Art Center (KAC).

The goal of the project was to provide youth in Berrien County an educational, skill-building, and participatory experience that uses the arts to convey Community Resiliency Model® (CRM) based knowledge and skills. The activities and art are also intended to help youth learn how to heal from their experiences. Over the course of three years, the collaboration ignited a traveling art exhibit and six permanent art installations at local sites.

“I never thought of art as a form of healing, but it has been for me. Through the pandemic, I've learned to appreciate the power of art to express myself and connect with others.” - Nathan Margoni (Director of Education, KAC)


In preparation for this project, KAC and Corewell Health co-developed and co-curated the exhibition “Resiliency” in KAC’s galleries from October 4, 2019, to December 1, 2019. The collaboration commenced with organizational cross-training. Corewell Health’s certified CRM® instructor trained Krasl's team in the CRM® model, and KAC's team taught the population health team how to develop and issue an RFP and the principals of curating an exhibition.

“Resiliency” featured artists from across the nation working in diverse modes (painting, drawing and illustration, dance, and printmaking) and was viewed by nearly 2,500 people.

"At our annual holiday event we had an impromptu group of racially diverse women on a weekend retreat stop at KAC. Krasl's Curator provided an informal tour on the spot. In talking about John Gutoskey's artwork and the importance of liminal spaces as a resource for the LGBTQAI+ community, one woman commented on the importance of these spaces for multicultural individuals as well and really resonated with the idea."

Attendees included nine school groups which scheduled tours for a total of 349 students as well as youth from Berrien County Juvenile Detention Center – twice the number of youth that typically attend exhibitions. Additionally, community partner Lory’s Place sent staff for a private tour, as well as members of the Overdose Loss Group, Teen/Guardian Grief Group, and the Suicide Loss Group who toured the galleries and then used Krasl library as a space for reflection and guided discussion. Viewers actively learned and practiced the skills of CRM®: Tracking, Resourcing, Grounding, Gesturing, Shift and Stay, Help Now. For more information, see KAC's "In the Galleries: Resiliency".


2020 to 2023

In October 2020, Corewell Health in Southwest Michigan and Krasl Art Center (KAC) were awarded $55,474 by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to develop the “Pop-Up Art & Wellness Center: Pop into Resilience” project. Corewell Health provided in-kind contributions totaling $50,000 toward the project.

A traveling art exhibition was developed and placed at local libraries, learning centers, and medical facilities to provide the CRM experience to various audiences. The traveling exhibit aims to increase the understanding of mental health, destigmatize mental illness, introduce the concept of resilience, and invite community members to participate in hands-on, arts-based activities that provide opportunities to practice and build resiliency skills. The Pop-Up travels from local libraries, learning centers, and medical facilities to provide the experience to the widest audience possible.

“One of the project partners were appreciative and excited about the project. They felt like CRM would be a valuable addition to their organization and found the experience to be encouraging.” 

Traveling Art Exhibition Permanent Art Installations

Partner sites

  • Benton Harbor Public Library
  • Niles District Library
  • St. Joseph / Maud Preston Palenske Memorial Library
  • Lory’s Place (no permanent art installation)
  • Niles-Buchanan YMCA (including camp counselors for Camp Eberhart)
  • Benton Harbor-St. Joseph YMCA
  • Boys & Girls Clubs Teen Center, Benton Harbor

What is CRM?

Developed in California by the Trauma Resource Institute, CRM® is designed to increase and build individual and community resilience. The model helps adults and children learn to track their own nervous systems in order to the bring their body, mind and spirit back into greater balance.  CRM® covers various concepts such as introduction and practice of the six CRM® wellness skills, resiliency and the resilient zone, common reactions after a traumatic or stressful event, Adverse Childhood Experience Study, biology versus human weakness and organizing principals of the brain.

Local CRM® trainings and other mental wellness workshops are available through Corewell Health in Southwest Michigan. Learn more at

The goals of CRM®

  1. To widen the “resilient zone” so a person is better able to handle life stressors
  2. To reset and balance the nervous system after stressful or traumatic events
  3. To intercept the hijacking of the nervous system by learning skills for self-care
  4. To integrate the CRM® skills into the daily activities
  5. To embed CRM® within the fabric of our community so that our systems are educated in the biology of traumatic stress reactions and also the biology of resiliency.

Learn More About CRM® Concepts