Volusia County is giving more than $1,800 dollars to the Creative Happiness Institute of Daytona Beach as part of it's yearly cultural grants program. We found the Creative Happiness Institute and it's founder, Dr. David Axelrod and asked him to describe just what the CHI is?
"We are trying to promote health through creativity, so our new motto -- new more recently -- is be creative, be well."
Specifically, Dr. Axelrod says the CHI uses poetry among other things to promote wellness. How might that work in the real world?
"When you reach for a cigarette, I should think you would pick up a pen and write why you need to smoke."
We asked Volusia County Chairman Jason Davis if poetry can make you happier or healthier? He tells FOX 35, he is no doctor, but:
"The theory is that a healthy mind helps with a healthy body."
The Institute features a rock garden for meditation, and hopes to soothe troubled minds using creativity. Chairman Davis says they deserve the $1,800 in tax money, because the CHI went through the same process as everyone else seeking a cultural grant.
"You have to go through a review. You have to submit a business plan. You have to file your tax form 990. Then you have to go through a review board, and once the review board says 'yes they've accomplished everything and this sounds like a good grant'. They turn around and say 'hey we recommend issuance of grant'."
Dr. Axelrod says he plans to use that $1,800 for seed money to bring in authors and poets to speak to people in Volusia County.
"Promoting visitors, principally writers, often poets. Allowing them to be able to travel from whatever distance, at least give them a little honorarium for their effort. Cover their travel costs."
The $1,800 given to the Creative Happiness Institute is just a small portion of the hundreds of thousands of dollars given out each year by Volusia County in cultural grants.