How it All Started The PeaceLove Story

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

PeaceLove began in 2009 when cousins Matt and Jeff set out to create a movement the mental health community could rally behind. A movement that encouraged creativity, self expression, community, and storytelling. 


Jeff began painting at the suggestion of a friend after completing exposure response therapy. Despite having no formal training, Jeff found painting relieved the symptoms of his OCD and granted him a sense of control. It became a way for him to express himself. 

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.


With nothing but a cart full of art supplies and belief in the expressive arts, Matt and Jeff created PeaceLove to share the power of creativity with others.


In 2015, PeaceLove launched their CREATORS Program, training professionals to use the PeaceLove workshops with their populations. Since then, PeaceLove has impacted more than 65,000 lives.

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

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

Helen Leffers


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

Jen Sparr

Special Events Director

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

Joy Lugo

CREATORS Coordinator & Lead Trainer

I am very excited to be part of PeaceLove and continue to educate, advocate, and promote expressive arts in healthy way.

Maegan DuBois

CREATORS Program Director

I love being part of creative community that is passionate about making a positive impact in the world of mental health/wellness and working towards eliminating the stigma that surrounds it.

Mia DeMarco

CREATORS Coordinator & Trainer

Abbie Stenberg


Kim DiOrio-Rooney


Deidre Fraser

CREATORS Trainer, West Coast

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

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'm excited to share stories and change the way we talk about mental health!

Victoria Nadine Rose

Creative Writing & Copy Production

I'm grateful to be a part of an organization that's using creativity to help so many experience empowerment, healing and hope.

Christina Strachoff

Marketing & Design Coordinator