By Jaimee Itagaki, Photographer and Artist


A signature and motivational inspiration of AADAP is for the residents to replace negative feelings of hopelessness into Creating new attitudes, directions, and positive lifestyles”.

   Having had a family member who was drug addicted and was a past resident in AADAP, Photographer/Artist Jaimee Itagaki. As a result, and due to AADAP, this family member was completely rehabilitated and became a successful individual, forever changed. She was a success story. However, many times, the cases are not always 100% rehabilitated and go on a journey of flight and fight, wrestling with the demons of addiction.

   Jaimee realized that AADAP was an inspiration to give back and, hence, create such a workshop that the residents can draw and benefit from. Jaimee is a commercial and fine art photographer artist, a rare native of Los Angeles, was born in Boyle Heights and raised by a single mother. She began her photography and art career in those fields as an API woman photographer, when the field was dominated by white males. Most recently, she was awarded a grant to create an art experience for AADAP’s residents and outpatients with the potential for an art therapy agenda. The Photo Art Class Workshops objectives aim to expose AADAP residents to the digital photographic processes for the purpose of self-expression, which addresses and recognizes negative unincorporated feelings, emotions, and motivational influences. A therapeutic release hopefully ensues, with discussions and dialogues stimulating insights asking why resultant photographic choices were made. This will also create a valuable platform for learning about oneself, as the underlying self-realizations of past [most times hidden] influential experiences become a visual on paper. The internal self is mirrored to the creator.  

These classes will be held at both of AADAP’s two facilities: Outpatient Director, Patricia Abrantes, and Therapeutic Community Director, James Stinson. The culmination of the classes will feature an Art Exhibit of the works created.

For the lion share of her career, she was a staff magazine photographer for CFW Enterprises which was a National/International niche magazine publication. Titles included: Inside Kung Fu, MMA-Mixed Martial Arts [UFC], Romantic Homes, Cottages and Bungalows and Victorian Homes. She was the fashion editor for Yolk Magazine as well, representing notable Asians in the pop culture genres, and the arts. Yolk Magazine is now in the permanent collection at the Smithsonian Museum as one of the 1st of its kind as a magazine publication featuring important API notables in entertainment and the arts. 

She has exhibited in local Los Angeles galleries: Doizaki Gallery [JACCC], Barnsdall Municipal Gallery, Galeria de Otra Vez, and Otis Parsons Gallery, to name a few. Her personal fine art expressions focus on urban ethnic representations and experiences, the spirituality found within these inner-city landscapes and women’s issues focusing mainly on empowerment. She is also Reiki Master Practitioner. 

For more information, please contact Patricia Abrantes, Outpatient Director at (323) 294-4932 and/or James Stinson at Therapeutic Community (323) 293-6291

The best view comes after the hardest climb.” – George R.R. Martin, A Feast for Crows