SAT OCT 5, 12-4 pm
FINDING OUR LIGHT: COMMEMORATIVE ART SHOW & MURAL-MAKING FOLLOWING THE OUT OF THE DARKNESS WALK FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION
THE WALK: 9am – Noon; Walkers meet at The Pittsfield Common on First St
THE RECEPTION: 12 – 4 pm; Walkers cross East St to The Whitney Center for the Arts, 42 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield
On the morning of Sat Oct 5, hundreds of residents will gather beginning at 9 am at The Pittsfield Common on First St to walk throughout downtown Pittsfield in support of suicide prevention. Immediately following at Noon, walkers are invited to cross East St and attend a Commemorative Art Show and Mural-making event at the Whitney Center for the Arts. Refreshments are provided as well as a musical performance by Steven Skoblow and Jerry Link of the local band, Purleyville.
‘Finding Our Light’ celebrates the third anniversary of Arts in Recovery for Youth (AIRY) and its role in preventing youth suicide in Berkshire County. The show features over 75 works of art by its young people with acrylic and watercolor paintings, mixed media drawings and collage, clay sculptures, masks, 3D installation, digital art, storytelling, poetry and film.
A sneak preview of the show takes place on FRI, OCT 4, during First Fridays Artswalk from 5-8 pm.
Tammara Leminen and Leo Mazzeo who have served as gallery managers for the Whit, began supporting Schorr’s work with youth and families in the community in 2016, with yearly art shows and special events including an auction for the family art therapy project, and last year’s show Hope is a Four Letter Word. This year, The Whit expands their collaborative efforts with AIRY, the AFSP and BCSP, to give walkers a place to come afterward, make art and connect, and share hope and healing. All proceeds from the art show benefit continued AIRY programming.
The Out of the Darkness Berkshire County Walk for Suicide Prevention is sponsored by AFSP and BCSP. The event features lived experience speaker, Kiara Bresett and AFSP Research Grant recipient Katie Lewis, along with resource tables. Walkers also have the opportunity to create their own fabric remembrance braids with AIRY to take home.
For more info or to register for the Walk, go to: www.afsp.org/berkshirecounty.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people in the United States. In response to this public health problem, AIRY was designed by art therapist and suicide attempt survivor, Marney Schorr in 2016. To date AIRY has served over 75 young Berkshire county residents ages 12-26 with suicide prevention skills through the expressive arts.
With grant funding from the MA Dept of Public Health, BCSP, the MA Local Cultural Councils and the Northern Berkshire United Way, this collaborative community response led to Schorr being the recipient of the MA Statehouse Award for excellence in leadership of suicide prevention in 2018. Her work in AIRY is now the subject of a book with Jessica Kingsley Publishers to be released next year. Schorr runs multiple groups for young people struggling with suicidal thoughts at her art studio at NUarts in downtown Pittsfield, as well as internships for college and high school students.
AIRY uses art therapy and recovery-oriented skills to help youth, and hosts art shows and special events for youth to stay engaged in the community. With support from the county, the program is offered at no cost to families, and provides free transportation.
The next AIRY series begins OCTOBER 11, 2019. For more info, please visit www.airyedu.com or contact Marney Schorr at firstname.lastname@example.org.