Aaron Stein Memorial Fund Award

The Aaron Stein Memorial Fund Award is given annually to honor the memory of Aaron Stein, a pioneer in group psychotherapy, and an inspiring teacher. The award recognizes organizations in the locale of the upcoming AGPA Connect that utilize the creative applications of group theory and technique to benefit the community, particularly in non-psychotherapeutic settings. Please contact the Group Foundation office if you would like to recommend an organization.  An annual cash prize of $500 is presented.

2021 Recipient

Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company

The Group Foundation presented the Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company with the 2021 Aaron Stein Memorial Award for their innovative and creative use of group techniques. The company's work truly embodies the spirit and intent of Dr. Aaron Stein’s belief in the value of applied group psychology principles in both traditional and nontraditional settings.


2020 Recipient


2019 Recipient

Teen Line

2018 Recipient

Purple Songs Can Fly

2017 Recipient

Theater of War

Theater of War stages table readings of Ancient Greek tragedies by Sophocles about soldiers of war and their experiences of injury, betrayal, honor and psychological trauma for military and civilian audiences.  By using the metaphor of tragedy, a space is provided in which soldiers can speak about the impact of service on them, where military spouses can speak about what trauma has done to their homes and where civilians can reflect on all complexities of war.  The actors in this production dedicate their time to performing at military bases, conferences and government sites around the world for personnel at all levels of rank and across all branches of military.  To date, they have appeared at the Pentagon, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Guantanamo Bay and a variety of military bases and hospitals, in addition to community sites including schools and homeless shelters.

2016 Recipient

Big Apple Playback Theatre of New York, NY

A theatre based on stories told by audience members. Life stories are shared, cast, and then enacted on the spot by a team of actors/dancers and a musician. Be they comic or tragic, our life stories are full of important moments worth sharing and remembering. Telling our stories to each other in a theatrical context is both redemptive and invigorating. Listening to the stories of our community is crucial as we strive towards a world without hate and violence. The objective of Big Apple Playback Theatre is three-fold: to invite dialogue, build community, and to create compelling theatre. It therefore lives on the cusp between art and social change and provides opportunity for laughter, reflection, and connection.

2015 Recipient

The Living Arts Playback Theatre Ensemble of Emeryville, CA

A troupe of improvisational actors and musicians who “play back” personal stories shared by audience members in ways that both honor and illuminate the original experience.  The ensemble produces performances, workshops and events for personal, professional and organizational growth.

2014 Recipient

Boston Gay Men's Chorus 

Founded in 1982, the 175-voice ensemble is celebrated for its outstanding musicianship, creative programming, and groundbreaking community outreach.  The BGMC creates social change by providing a positive, affirming image of the gay and lesbian community.  The Chorus sponsors internal events for members to promote connections, encouraging members to form bonds of fellowship.  It is heard live by more than 10,000 people each season and thousands more through recordings, television and internet broadcasts.

2013 Recipient

Charley Vance, for The Tangipahoa Parish Talented Theater Movie Project, Amite, Louisiana

Charley Vance was honored for his work with The Tangipahoa Parish Talented Theatre Movie Project Narrative.  For 14 years students of two high schools in rural Louisiana have created three 20 to 30 minute movies per year.  Over the years these movies have explored such topics as dating abuse, drug abuse, drinking and driving, cheating, divorce, teenage pregnancy and problems of social acceptance.  They have also done films on clinical issues such as eating disorders, Asperger’s Syndrome, and court mandated group psychotherapy.  Students work as a group to develop these screen plays and produce the movies.

2012 Recipient

Creative Alternatives of New York (CANY), New York, NY

CANY is a non-profit organization that blends group techniques with theatrical techniques to reach traumatized and under-served populations including the homeless, AIDS victims, chronic mentally ill, prisoners and others.  Through the use of creative expression in a therapeutic group setting, CANY helps children and adults expand their self-concept to build the social and emotional tools they need in order to live meaningful lives.

2011 - Elders Share the Arts (ESTA) of Brooklyn, NY
2009 - Music Theater Workshop of Chicago, IL
2008 - CREATE Arts Center, of Silver Spring, MD
2007 – Enterprising Girl Scouts Beyond Bars, run by the YWCA of Greater Austin
2006 – West Coast Children’s Grandparent-Child Support Program, run by WestCoast Children’s Center in El Cerrito, California
2005 – ENACT, of New York
2004 – Face to Face/Faith to Faith, run by Auburn Theological Seminary in partnership with Seeking Common Ground of New York
2003 – Hands on Parenting, run by Steps to Success, Inc, of Louisiana
2002 – Talented Theater of Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana
2001 – Devotion Follies: Hysterical Headlines of Boston
2000 – OPICA of Los Angeles
1999 – Bo’s Place of Houston
1998 – Focus on Children of Chicago
1997 – Ravens of New York
1996 – Bread & Roses of San Francisco
1995 – Moving in the Spirit of Atlanta
1994 – Community Connections of Washington, DC
1993 – Caring School Project of San Diego
1992 – Awareness Theater of the Family Service of Rochester, NY
1991 – Twain-Trinity Cooperative of San Antonio
1990 – First Night of Boston

Please direct ALL inquiries and application materials to:

Group Foundation for Advancing Mental Health
25 East 21st Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10010
Telephone: 212-477-2677  |  Toll-Free: 877-668-AGPA (2472)  |  Fax: 212-979-6627
Email: dfeirman@agpa.org

To make a contribution to the Group Foundation for Advancing Mental Health, click here.

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