What if we lived in a world without sexual violence? STSM launches Imagine If arts and anti-violence project.

COLUMBIA, SC – Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands (STSM) is partnering with local artists and organizations to launch the Imagine If project, an arts and anti-violence initiative that invites community members to recognize, identify and name the elements of violence around them and imagine a world where those things do not exist. In partnership with the Healing Art Program at Tapp’s Arts Center, STSM is hosting free, biweekly arts workshops at Tapp’s from January until April. These workshops are facilitated by Tapp’s Artist-in-Residence Jim Dukes and other local artists/instructors and focus on a wide variety of media/genres, from writing poetry to recreational drumming. The creative pieces made in these workshops are created just for fun, for personal growth and healing or to submit for display. The next workshop will be held at Tapp’s Arts Center on Saturday, January 18, 1:00-3:00 p.m. For this workshop, participants will be painting a community piece created by Jim Dukes titled Everyone Has a Love Story. Everyone Has a Love Story will be displayed at Tapp's during the month of February. STSM is also inviting local artists and community members to create and submit works of all genres/media responding to this prompt through March 14, 2014. STSM will display a selection of the pieces created through this campaign during the month of April (Sexual Assault Awareness Month) at Tapp’s Arts Center in downtown Columbia. For more information or to participate in the Imagine If project, please contact Alexis Stratton at (pec@www.stsm.org / 803-790-8208), or visit STSM’s website ( http://www.stsm.org/imagineif).

Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands (STSM), formerly named Rape Crisis Network, is a private, nonprofit, United Way member agency committed to providing free, direct services to survivors of sexual assault and abuse, including 24-hour crisis hotline, hospital accompaniment, court accompaniment, personal advocacy, individual and group counseling, and education about sexual trauma issues.