Timeline of the Creative Arts Rehabilitation Center

The Creative Arts Rehabilitation Center was the first community-based, art-centered treatment program in the world.

1958  Music Rehabilitation Center was created and funded by the Musicians Emergency Fund. The Center’s studio, with its one piano, was located in Carnegie Hall, while the office space was at 745 Fifth Ave., NYC

1960  The Center moves its studies and offices to 50 W. 57th St.

  • Tyson founded the Creative Arts Rehabilitation Center (CARC). The Center was commonly referred to as the Music Therapy Center.
  • Tyson moved the Center to the basement of 18 West 74th Street. The Metropolitan Music School operated on the upper floors
  • Center was incorporated
  • Tyson and the Center’s staff donated $25,000 in order for the CARC to provide services
  • Just 6 years after the National Association for Music Therapy’s registration program was initiated there were eight Registered Music Therapists (RMTs) on the CARC staff

1964  CARC begins to offer group session as well as individual sessions

1965  Art therapy is first offered at CARC

1967  CARC produces a film of an actual music therapy session for an adolescent boy with muliple impairments, A Song for Michael

1970s   Poetry therapy; jazz and rock bands were developed to meet patient- members’ needs

1973  The Center was located at 840 Eighth Avenue

1975  The Center moved to 251 W. 51st Street, a 1200 square foot space. It remained at this location until it closed in 1995.

  • Dance therapy at CARC receives significant media attention
  • The Center produces Moving True, a film of an actual dance therapy session, narrated by the patient-member and the dance therapist.

1976  CARC produces a sound filmstrip, Child at the Gate: A Study In Music, Art And Poetry Therapies with an Adult Schizophrenic Woman, narrated by the patient-member, Tyson, and the patient-member’s art and poetry therapists.

1979  CARC has 15 employees, three of whom are full-time

1980s  CARC has a donor base of approximately 1,200

1981  The Center is consistently referred to as the Creative Arts Rehabilitation Center

  • The Center publishes Tyson’s monograph, Psychiatric Music Therapy

1988  30 years after it opened, the Center was described “as the only mental health agency in the country devoted solely to creative arts therapies” (Erlanger, 1988).

1990s  CARC has 22 staff members, seven of whom are full-time

  • Services are provided to approximately 150 patient-members a month during the early 1990s.

1991  Tyson, after 33 years of leading the Center, and against her wishes, steps down as Executive Director. She is ceremoniously named Founder and Head of, and Senior Consultant to, the Creative Arts Rehabilitation Center. The first line of her new job description is to embody the idea of the Center.

1995   Center closed because of insufficient funds, ending a truly astounding   37-year history of providing community-based creative arts therapies to people with mental disorders.

2002   A small group of creative arts therapists, who had worked for Tyson at the Center, opened the Creative Arts Therapy Space, and dedicates it to Tyson. This space is short-lived.

2004    The Florence Tyson fund is founded to support deserving creative arts therapy work.

2006    First grants are awarded to Nordoff Robbins Center and The Baltic Street Music Program.