The Imagination Lab

Drawing of Crayons

We don’t believe that treating substance use disorders is simply “mind over matter”.  We believe that while in treatment, your mind matters!

The Imagination Lab was created to fill a need.  The need and desire to create.  Creativity expressed through writing, dance, pottery and art, frees the mind to think differently and expose hidden talents.  Through this innovative and renowned program, growth is achieved by encouragement and validation of each client’s personal expression.

Meet Our Co-Founders

Shari Elliker

Shari Elliker has over 22 years of experience as a voice-over artist, radio host, and actor. “The Shari Elliker Show” won the Outstanding Talk Show award from the Associated Press in 2007 and 2008. Ms. Elliker has numerous national and local voice-over credits and has appeared in several roles on television and film. She has a passion for animals and was a Board Member for BARCS, the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter. She also served as the Executive Director of Communications for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services from 2015 to 2018. Ms. Elliker became involved as a volunteer at Man Alive co-facilitating the newly established Women’s Empowerment Group with Ms. Reese. Their work with this group evolved into the founding of the Imagination Lab.

Karen Reese

Karen Reese, M.A., CAC-AD serves as the Executive Director/CEO of Man Alive, Inc. and Lane Treatment Center, LLC. In 2016, the Daily Record named her as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women. She served on the Executive Committee of the National Institute of Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network and on the Mayor’s Anti-Animal Abuse Advisory Commission in Baltimore City. Karen was nominated to participate in the Weinberg Leadership Program and now garners the title of Weinberg Fellow. Under her leadership, she has developed many innovative programs sensitive to the needs of an urban environment. Her past training in professional dance and theatre, coupled with her decades of expertise in this field, has led her to co-develop Baltimore’s Imagination Lab.

Don Riesett

The Imagination Lab was founded on the principle of introducing individuals–who may never have otherwise crossed the threshold of a methadone clinic–to the clients in medication assisted treatment. Don Riesett took the step across that threshold on 2/27/14 and continues to share his expertise and “his whole self” to the writers. He is cherished by his students. His unique ability to penetrate their tough exteriors and have their complex feelings surface to show their caring souls is what makes their works extraordinary.