Meet Our Staff

MARNEY SCHORR – Founder/ Executive Director

Marney Schorr is an Art Therapist, Author, Teaching Artist and Founding Director of Arts in Recovery for Youth (AIRY).  She designed the program with both her professional background in art therapy and her lived experience as a suicide attempt survivor. AIRY has received four awards including the 2018 MA Statehouse Award and Citations from Sen. Hinds and State Rep Tricia Farley Bouvier.

Marney is the author of the first book on art therapy and youth suicide prevention, DBT and Art for Youth Suicide Prevention: When Art Saves Lives (2022) with Jessica Kingsley Publishers. She has taught art therapy at Springfield College, Annamaria College, Berkshire Community College, Empire State College and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She is an art therapy internship supervisor for MCLA and Springfield College.

Marney earned her Master’s in Clinical Art Therapy from LI University and and her Bachelor’s in Visual Art from Empire State College. She has received extensive training in art therapy, adolescent development, social and emotional learning, suicide prevention, dialectical behavior therapy, internal and family systems therapy, addictions and motivational interviewing, best trauma-informed practices, somatic experiencing, poetry therapy and fine arts including drawing, painting and sculpture, as well as self care practices for secondary traumatic stress. She presents locally and nationally for others in the field and for parents and educators. She presently runs individual, family and group art therapy at an artists cooperative in downtown Pittsfield known as NUarts Studios & Gallery.  For more info visit her website at http://www.marneyschorr.webs.com. For more info about NUarts, visit http://www.nuartsgallery.com.

KIARA BRESETT – Lead Skills Counselor

FB_IMG_1656281369434

Kiara is an art therapy apprentice under the supervision of Marney Schorr. She is undergraduate student at MCLA with a double major in art and psychology on a track to study art therapy in graduate school. Since 2018, she has worked with AIRY as both an intern and lead skills counselor in our teen and young adult groups. Kiara is a passionate advocate of suicide prevention and has been a public speaker at the AFSP Out of Darkness Walks, Berkshire Conference for Suicide Prevention and the MA Annual Conference for Suicide Prevention.

Kiara has received training in art therapy, arts management, grant writing, counseling techniques, youth mentorship, peer support practices, fine and performing arts, best practices for suicide prevention, safe talk, dialectical behavior therapy skills training, trauma-informed practices, motivational interviewing, managing work-related secondary traumatic stress and self care practices, and ethics and communication.  Kiara has assisted Marney in her guest lectures at Springfield College, Berkshire Community College and Annamaria College. She runs her own small business creating and selling original mixed media art, photography, all-natural scented puddy with essential oils and hand sewn masks. For more information or to place an order, contact Kiara at kiarasphotos7@gmail.com.

RACHAEL BENTZ – Skills Counselor & Digital Art Group Facilitator

Rachael Bentz has been with the AIRY program since 2017. She works as a program assistant, skills counselor and facilitator of the AIRY Digital Art Group for teens and young adults. She is the designer of the AIRY short film (animatic) The Story of Indigo Phoenix (see our videos). Rachael is currently earning her Bachelor´s degree in Animation.

She has received education and training in animation, character design, digital art, fine arts, musical and acting performance, counseling techniques, youth mentorship, peer support practices, fine and performing arts, best practices for suicide prevention, safe talk, dialectical behavior therapy skills training, trauma-informed practices, motivational interviewing, managing work-related secondary traumatic stress and self care practices, and ethics and communication. 

Rachael is a masterful digital artist who designs original characters, comic books and short digital films.  Her commissions and other art work have been featured in multiple art shows. Rachael takes orders on commission. Contact her at rachaelbentzart@gmail.com.

JACK KELLY Skills Counselor & Event Coordinator 

After graduating the AIRY program, Jack Kelly returned to become a skills counselor, studio assistant and event coordinator. He serves as a liaison for AIRY in developing community partnerships. Jack is an artist and avid writer. He has regularly presented his poetry at local arts venues like the Whitney Center for the Arts. He has also worked as an art dealer organizing art shows and sales for local artists. 

In 2018, Jack presented at the MA State Suicide Prevention Conference. In 2019, he shared his experience on screen and was the director´s assistant in the filming of AIRY’s documentary, Messages of Hope . Jack has a passion for performing arts and is a graduate of the Playwright Mentoring Program at Barrington Stage Company. He has performed in multiple plays at Barrington Stage Company and Pittsfield H.S.

From 2019-2022, Jack has been a Presenter & Coordinator for AIRY´s annual ¨Love Yourself¨ at the Colonial Theatre. Jack has received education and training in fine and performing arts, creative writing, counseling techniques, youth mentorship, peer support practices, best practices for suicide prevention, safe talk, dialectical behavior therapy skills training, motivational interviewing, trauma-informed practices, managing work-related secondary traumatic stress and self care practices and ethics and communication.

ISLEY GAGNON – Skills Counselor and Art Therapy Intern

After interning for the AIRY program, Isley Gagnon has joined the AIRY team as a Skills Counselor in our Teen and Young Adult groups.. She is currently earning her Masters degree in Art Therapy and Mental Health Counseling in the Graduate Art Therapy program at Springfield College. She earned her Bachelor´s degree in Fine Art and brings expertise in both fine art and art therapy to the AIRY program.

Isley also has experience working in art therapy groups with children. Isley has received education and training in art and psychology, art therapy theories and practices, counseling methods, best practices for suicide prevention, safe talk, dialectical behavior therapy skills training, motivational interviewing, trauma-informed practices, managing work-related secondary traumatic stress and self care practices and ethics and communication.

JAMIE BADORE – Skills Counselor, Teaching Fiber Artist & Outreach Assistant

FB_IMG_1636026354665

After years of being a guest artist and mentor in AIRY, Jamie joined our staff as Skills Counslelor, Teaching Fiber Artist Outreach Assistant. Jamie provides phone outreach to teens and young adults outside of our regular programming and provides phone support to parents. He has experience in mental health recovery and peer support. He is also an expert in fiber arts, spinning yarn from sheep’s wool, knitting, weaving and other fiber arts.

FB_IMG_1636026369669

Jamie has worked for several years in his capacity as a fiber artist at Hudson Valley Sheep & Wool. Jamie is a watercolor artist and also an LGBQT+ advocate.

FB_IMG_1636026314933

Jamie received training in outreach with youth and families, creative youth development, best practices in suicide prevention, safe talk, dialectical behavior therapy skills training, trauma-informed practices, managing work-related secondary traumatic stress and self care practices and ethics and communication.