Gándara Blog

Donor Profile: Matt Bannister, First Vice President for Marketing and Corporate Responsibility at PeoplesBank

We Need Runners/Walkers and Sponsors for Our 2020 Gándara Center Frozen Yogurt Virtual 5K August 16-23

Responding to Racism: Gándara Center’s Commitment to Our Mission

Our Intimate Partner Abuse Education Program Goes Virtual as Domestic Violence Rises During Pandemic Lockdown

Coronavirus Resources: Useful Links

Gándara in the Media: COVID-19 Impact

Gándara Center Seeks Donations in Response to Coronavirus Crisis

Vaping Can Increase the Risk of Developing Coronavirus—and Make the Infection Worse for Those Who Contract It

Minorities are Particularly Vulnerable to Not Only Coronavirus, But Also the Mental Health Problems the Crisis Brings with It

Gándara in the Media: Coronavirus Imapct

COVID-19 Response – Gándara Center’s Essential Services Continue in Time of Need; Telehealth Services are Now Available!

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response

Problem Gambling Photovoice Exhibition to Take Place on March 12 [EVENT POSTPONED]

Opioid Overdose Deaths Decreased Statewide, But Increased in Western Mass—Especially in Hispanic Communities

Quit Vaping, Smoking or Other Tobacco Products to Celebrate American Heart Month

View Our February Newsletter Online!

Gándara Center Staff Bring Supplies to Earthquake-Torn Puerto Rico

Lois Nesci Named CEO of Gándara Center

Backpack Survival Kits are Needed for Earthquake Victims in Puerto Rico

View our January Newsletter Online!

Gándara Center’s Emergency Help Drive for Puerto Rico is Now a Statewide Effort

Gándara Youth Exhibit Celebrates Young Artists and Performers

View our December Newsletter Online!

Stop Access Springfield Coalition Town Hall Event on December 11 to Warn of Substance Use Dangers

Don’t Miss ArtSong, Our 6th Annual Gándara Youth Art Exhibit Reception, on December 12

#GivingTuesday: On December 3, Help Support the People We Serve

Help is Available for Youth with Serious Emotional or Behavioral Health Needs

Gándara Center Launches Community Care Package Drive

State Awards Funds for Gándara Center Recovery Program in Plymouth: Program Moving to Larger Facility

View Our November Newsletter Online!

Gándara Center’s Stop Access Springfield Coalition Awarded $125,000 Federal Grant to Fight Substance Use

Gándara Center Urges Passage of Two Anti-Vaping Bills

Be a Hero: Become a Sponsor in our Aventura! Summer Camp Scholarship Program

View Our October Newsletter Online

ADHD Awareness Month: Know the Difference Between Myths and Facts

Staff Snapshot: Aundra Gillyourd, Peer Support Specialist/Recovery Coach

Gándara Center, Tapestry, and Hampden County Addiction Taskforce Partner for Free Community Narcan Trainings

Heather Murphy Receives Field Instructor Award

New Genoa Healthcare Pharmacy Opens at Gándara Center Outpatient Clinic

View Our September Newsletter Online

Septiembre es el Mes Nacional de la Recuperación: Join the Voices for Recovery!

Suicide Prevention: a Shared Responsibility

Frozen Yogurt 5K Raises More Than $25,000

We Need Volunteers for Our Frozen Yogurt 5K on August 25!

View Our August Newsletter Online!

We’re Marching in the Springfield Puerto Rican Parade on September 15

11 Gándara Center Employees Mark Milestones in August

Donor Profile: Bill Trudeau, presidente y director ejecutivo de Insurance Center of New England

We’re Having a Job Fair at the Holyoke Mall on August 3

Gándara Center: a History

An Exciting Opportunity: The Gándara Center Hiring Bonus Program

Check Out Our July Newsletter Online!

We Need Runners/Walkers, Sponsors, and Volunteers for Our Frozen Yogurt 5K on August 25 in Northampton!

Hope for Holyoke Presenters Discuss Compulsive Gambling at Symposium

Read our June Newsletter Online!

#GandaraAtWork Episode 11: Lara Quiles, Supervisor, CSP/RSN Programs

A Dozen Gándara Center Employees Celebrate Important Work Anniversaries in June

Attention Shoppers: Gándara Center Chosen as a Big Y Community Bag Program Beneficiary for June

Gándara to Open Peer Recovery Support Center in Springfield

Henry’s Next Aventura! Event Raises $3,528 for Kids and Teens Summer Camp Scholarship

Fundraiser Benefits Gándara’s Esperanza Women’s Transitional Support Services

#GandaraAtWork Episode 10: Eddie Rodriguez, Recovery Coach Supervisor

Nine Gándara Center Employees Mark Milestones in May

Gándara Center’s NOEL Program Conducts Community Educational Session on Breast Cancer Prevention and Screening

Read Our May Newsletter Online!

National Foster Care Month: Celebrating the Heroes Who Make a Difference in the Lives of Children in Need

We Need Volunteers for Our Frozen Yogurt 5K on August 25!

New Program: Avanzando! Enhanced Residential Rehabilitation Services Treats Women Who are Experiencing Co-Occurring Disorders

#GandaraAtWork Episode 9: Lianette Rivera, In-Home Behavioral Services Director

#GandaraAtWork Episode 8: Abrah Orth, Director of Family Support and Training

Read our April Newsletter Online!

Problem Gambling Prevention: the Ambassador Project

Hope for Holyoke Recovery Center Members and Staff Respond to an Overdose and Save a Life with Narcan

#GandaraAtWork Episode 7: Sara, In-Home Therapy Supervisor

Community Chat at Springfield Family Resource Center Focuses on Safety and Quality-of-Life Issues

Staff Snapshot: Lea Rojas Otero, Outpatient Clinic Counselor in Brockton

#GandaraAtWork Episode 6: Edgardo and Natalie, Health & Wellness at the Outpatient Clinic

Read Our March Newsletter Online!

National Employee Appreciation Day: Congratulations to All of Our Gift Card Winners!

#GandaraAtWork Episode 5: Mark Huntington, Director of Training

Springfield Residents: Applications Now Available for the Gándara Center Aventura! Summer Camp Scholarship

The Champion Plan in Brockton Joins National Police-Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative

#GandaraAtWork Episode 4: Rahiza, Chelsea, and Audra of our Outpatient Clinic

#GandaraAtWork Episode 3: Lavagn Claudio, Senior Family Partner

#GandaraAtWork Episode 2: Kristen Owens, Quality Assurance Specialist

#GandaraAtWork Episode 1: Dianna Rodriguez, HR Receptionist

Meet Jayson Sanchez, Gándara Center’s New Recruitment Marketing and Sourcing Specialist

Stop Access Springfield Coalition Coordinator Malikah Jeffries Attends Community Anti-Drug Conference in Washington, DC

Future Gándara Center Shelter in Springfield Receives Funding from State Youth Homelessness Initiative

Why We Run: To Boost Mental Health, Raise Awareness, & Combat Stigmas

Read the Gándara Center 2018 Annual Report Online!

Twelve Graduate from Gándara Center Recovery Coach Training Program in Brockton

Mini-Conference Takes Aim at a Sharp Spike in Youth Vaping

Gándara Center Employees Mark Milestones in January

Be a Hero to a Deserving Child: Sponsor a Camper in Our Aventura! Summer Camp Scholarship Program

Read Our January Newsletter Online!

Employees and Families Enjoy 6-2 Home Hockey Victory at Gándara Center Family Night at the Springfield Thunderbirds

Gándara in the Media: Sara Moriarty, Director of the Hampden County Tobacco Free Community Partnership

Save the Date: Our 5th Annual Frozen Yogurt 5K is on August 25

De-escalation & Crisis Management Training: How to Defuse the Situation

El Sitio Web de Gándara en Español—Gándara Website in Spanish

4 New Years Resolution Ideas to Improve Your Mental Health [Infographic]

Co-Occurring Mental Health & Substance Use Disorders, and Patriots WR Josh Gordon

3 Reasons You Should Donate to Aventura!, our Western Mass Summer Camp Program [Infographic]

Read Our December Newsletter Online!

End-of-Year Giving: Help Us Send Kids and Teens from Low-income Springfield Families to Summer Camp

Community Responds to Blood Drive/Job Fair on December 11

Not Just Winter Blues: What is Seasonal Affective Disorder & What Are the Treatments?

Largest Turnout Ever for Gándara Center Holiday Party

Gándara Center Executive Director to Retire: Henry East-Trou a Longtime Advocate for the Underserved

The Massachusetts Good Samaritan Law: Protection for Overdose Victims & Witnesses

Read Our November Newsletter Online!

Opioid Overdose Deaths Among Black Males, Fentanyl Use Increase [Report]

Well-Attended Community Narcan Trainings a Success

What is Carfentanil: The Synthetic Opioid 10,000 Times Stronger Than Morphine

The Valley Gives on Giving Tuesday: On Nov. 27 Help Us Send Kids to Summer Camp

Blood Drive/Job Fair on December 11 in Holyoke: Give Life—and Learn About Our Career Opportunities

Community Narcan Trainings to be Offered in Spanish Nov. 7 and 13: SPREAD THE WORD!

4 Questions for a Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Trans & Queer Specialist [Q&A]

Federal Policy & Massachusetts Ballot Question 3 Could Negatively Affect the At-Risk LGBTQI+ Community

4 Tips for Enjoying Halloween Sober [Infographic]

What Is Narcan, How Do I Use It, and Where Can I Get It?

Gándara Center Partners with Tapestry to Provide Community Narcan Trainings

Read Our October Newsletter Online!

ADHD Awareness Month: Dispelling the Myths

Sponsors Sought for Aventura! Summer Camp Scholarship

Donation Provides Impact Center with Backpacks and Supplies

Springfield Family Resource Center Honored by Governor for Hurricane Relief

Regarding a Local News Story on Child Exploitation [Statement]

4 Reasons to Start Your Career with Gándara [We’re Hiring!]

Gándara’s Gustafson and Garfi Join the Decade(s) Club

Aventura! Summer Camp Scholarship: Making Memories for Springfield Youth

View Photos and Video of the Springfield Puerto Rican Parade and Hope for Holyoke’s Float

Sights and Stories From the Recovery Day Rally Celebration in Boston

Read Our September Newsletter Online!

Suicide Prevention: a Shared Responsibility

4 Reasons to Apply for Gándara’s Recruitment Marketing & Sourcing Specialist Job

Become a Foster Parent and Open Your Heart to a Child in Need

El camino de Jeremiah hacia la recuperación: "Hairston House me salvó la vida"

Frozen Yogurt 5K recauda más de $20,000 para construir un patio de juegos

Septiembre es el Mes Nacional de la Recuperación: ¡únase a la celebración!

Beneficios del juego para la salud: por qué estamos construyendo un patio de juegos en nuestro hogar grupal para niños

Read Our August Newsletter Online!

Synthetic Substances: What is K2 & Why is it Dangerous?

Gándara in the News: The K2 Mass Overdose in New Haven

Overdose Death Data Show Spike in Fentanyl Use in Massachusetts & Nationwide [Report]

Transgender Governor Candidate Helps Focus Attention on LGBTQI+ Substance Use & Mental Health

Hay ayuda disponible para jóvenes con problemas emocionales graves y de salud conductual, y también para sus familias

Minorities in These Jobs are More Likely to Suffer Opioid Overdose Deaths [Report]

In Capuano vs. Pressley Debate, Missed Opportunity to Talk Opioid Crisis & Mental Health

Donor Profile: Matt Bannister, primer vicepresidente de Marketing e Innovación, PeoplesBank

Here’s the 2018 Frozen Yogurt 5K Route [Map]

National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month: A Call to Action

Gándara in the News: Debra Flynn-Gonzalez, Program Director for Hope for Holyoke

What Demi Lovato Can Teach Us About Recognizing Warning Signs of Relapse

New Study Shows Link Between Rising Temperatures & Suicide Rates

Mass. Senate Scraps Plan for Safe-Injection Site

Re-Entry Program for Prisoners in Plymouth to Feature Wrap-around Team Approach

Heather Murphy Receives Field Supervisor Award

Joanny Torrales Celebrates 15 Years at Gándara

Gov. Baker Announces $1 Million in Narcan Grants

Donor Profile: Bill Trudeau, presidente y director ejecutivo de Insurance Center of New England

Sign-on and Referral Bonus Program Returns

Debra Flynn-Gonzalez Honored in Boston as “Unsung Heroine”

Gándara in the News: Lianette Rivera

Cornerstone Program Director Cindy Carley Honored by WMSAPA

Hope After Addiction: Recovery Coach Training Grads Honored in Brockton

Suicide Prevention: Watch for the Warning Signs

Hope for Holyoke Hosts MOAR Western Massachusetts Policy Forum

The 4th Annual Frozen Yogurt 5K is Coming August 26

ArtSong Reception Celebrates Young Artists and Performers

Read Our Outpatient Clinic Accessibility Plan



Por |junio 17, 2018|Noticias, Sin categoría|Comentarios desactivados on Gándara Blog

Debra Flynn-Gonzalez Honored in Boston as “Unsung Heroine”

Every year, the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women asks every state legislator to nominate someone from their district as an “Unsung Heroine.” For State Representative Aaron Vega, this year’s pick was easy: Debbie Flynn-Gonzalez, program director at the Gándara Center’s Hope for Holyoke peer recovery support center. They are both pictured above.

Flynn-Gonzalez was honored with more than 100 other women on June 20 at the Massachusetts State House’s Great Hall. Each Unsung Heroine received a citation signed by Governor Charlie Baker and had her bio read aloud at the event.

“I am so impressed with Deb’s leadership among our most vulnerable and the supportive community she’s created,” said Rep. Vega, pictured above with the honoree. “I’m proud that she has been able to do this work in my hometown, and we’re all the richer for it.”

Flynn-Gonzalez began her career in social work as a mental health clinician performing outreach work in Holyoke 24 years ago before her personal background in recovery led her to work with the recovery community. She launched the first peer recovery program for pregnant and parenting women in Holyoke and led that program for eight years. She has been program director at Hope for Holyoke for three years.

“Recovery is different for women,” she says. “For a mother in recovery, your children are your greatest source of motivation. I always understood that as someone who has walked in their shoes.”

Hope for Holyoke has 300 active members, with an average of 50 people accessing the center daily. One of the grateful members, Kaitlyn, who leads a spiritual journey group there, has high praise for Flynn-Gonzalez. “People walk through these doors broken,” she said. “Starting our day feeling loved is difficult. Deb always makes me feel cared for. She brings out the best in me.”

Flynn-Gonzalez said that at the event she couldn’t help but think of the many people in recovery she had meet throughout the years. “For me, it is just such an honor to be part of their journeys,” she said. “For some of them it is very brief, and they move on. But for others, they remain a part of my life as they continue to grow. Some of them even work in the field now, and they are the new generation of women who will be carrying on this all so important peer recovery work.”

According to the Commonwealth’s website, Unsung Heroines “use their time, talent and enthusiasm to enrich the lives of others and make a difference in their neighborhoods, cities, and towns. They are mentors, volunteers, and innovators who do what needs to be done, without expectations of recognition, or gratitude.” However, they did receive much appreciation and thanks at the State House on June 20. “It was awesome hearing all the stories from all the women who were honored,” says Flynn-Gonzalez. “I was so humbled to be among them.”

Flynn-Gonzalez earned her bachelor’s degree in social work at UMass Amherst and her master’s degree in counseling and psychology from Cambridge College. She is fluent in Spanish and said she learned the language on the streets of Holyoke and from the mothers she worked with early in her career.

Deb Dennis State House - Copy

Debbie Flynn-Gonzalez and her husband Dennis Gonzalez, a recovery coach at Hope for Holyoke

K Polito

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito tells the honorees how much their service means to their legislators and their communities.

latino connection

State Rep. Jose Tosado, Dennis Gonzalez, and State Rep. Aaron Vega


Each honoree was given a yellow rose.

rose story

Por |junio 27, 2018|Noticias, Sin categoría|Comentarios desactivados on Debra Flynn-Gonzalez Honored in Boston as “Unsung Heroine”

Gándara in the News: Lianette Rivera

On June 14, Western Mass News (WGGB/WSHM) interviewed Lianette Rivera, an in-home behavioral services supervisor at the Gándara Center in Holyoke, MA, about the possibility of students needing counseling after witnessing a student attack a teacher with a screwdriver in the city’s Peck Middle School. The weapon grazed the victim’s neck and he was treated by the school nurse.

Read the full article or view the news segment here.

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Cornerstone Program Director Cindy Carley Honored by WMSAPA

Cindy Carley, program director at Gándara’s Cornerstone Recovery Program for Young Women, was presented with the Outstanding Service award by the Western Massachusetts Substance Addiction Providers Association (WMSAPA). The honor took place at WMSAPA’s annual meeting on June 8 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, MA.

Cornerstone, in Ware, MA, is a residential drug and alcohol treatment and recovery support for transition-age youth and young adult women (ages 18-25).

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Hope After Addiction: Recovery Coach Training Grads Honored in Brockton

Like many recovering addicts, Jennifer Marston (pictured above) had begun her habit by taking prescription pills for an injury. “I broke my neck in a car accident when I was 14 years old,” she said. After undergoing numerous surgeries and developing rheumatoid arthritis, her opiate addiction spiraled out of control. “I was okay using for the rest of my life to deal with the pain,” she recalled. At one point she and her son were homeless and living in a subsidized hotel.

But then she turned her life around and wants to help others do the same. Marston, a native of Whitman, is one of six graduates of the Gándara Center’s Training to Work program, a workforce development grant for recovery coaching as an occupation at the agency’s Stairway to Recovery Peer Recovery Support Center in Brockton. The graduates’ achievements were acknowledged in a graduation celebration on June 19.

“I’m grateful to Gándara and I’m proud of myself and how far I’ve come,” said Marston. “There was a time when I just didn’t have any hope to be anyone more than what I was. Now I love what I’m doing.”

This was the program’s first graduating class and would not have been possible without such community partners as Massasoit Community College, where students take courses in its Human Services program, as well as the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center (BNHC) and the city’s High Point Treatment Centers, where graduates are now employed as recovery coaches. A new group of 15 students, who will be part of the program’s second cohort, attended the graduation, as well as family, friends, and representatives from BNHC, High Point, and Massasoit Community College.

The 8-to-12-month program provides skills-based training to earn a Recovery Coach certificate and credentials and a 5-to-7-month internship. There are also job placement services and follow-up support for the graduates.

“The program is intense,” said graduate Ginger Morris. “It’s been a long haul. I’m so happy to be here.”

Indeed, the atmosphere at the event was one of pride and accomplishment. “None of this would have been able to happen if we didn’t work together as a team,” said Stairway to Recovery Program Director Efrain Baez. Training to Work Program Coordinator Cindy Brodeur said it was gratifying to see all the hard work pay off for the participants in the program. “The graduates learned a lot and taught us a lot along the way as well,” she said.

The Training to Work program is funded by a Health Care Workforce Transformation Trust Fund FY’17 Appropriation grant through the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and is administered by the Commonwealth Corporation. The grant, which targets unemployed people in recovery from underserved communities, helps them build professional skills needed to work in health care, clinical, or human services settings.

For more information, contact Ginny Mercure, Gándara’s Director of Peer Recovery Support Services, at 774-454-9123 or vmercure@gandaracenter.org.




Por |junio 22, 2018|Noticias, Sin categoría|Comentarios desactivados on Hope After Addiction: Recovery Coach Training Grads Honored in Brockton

Hope for Holyoke Hosts MOAR Western Massachusetts Policy Forum

Powerful recovery stories were told at the Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery (MOAR) Western Massachusetts Policy Forum, which was hosted by the Hope for Holyoke recovery support center on May 24.

Hope for Holyoke, one of Gándara’s peer-to-peer recovery centers, provides such services as relapse prevention and tobacco cessation support groups, social events, access to computers for job readiness/job search activities, and advocacy and recovery coaching.

Several people shared testimonials about how recovery support centers helped change their lives. Maritza, a member of Hope for Holyoke, thanked “those who saw me when I felt invisible.” Another member, Marcos, called Hope for Holyoke his second home. “I learned how to read here,” he said. He also related a story about his bicycle being stolen and how the center’s peers bought him a new one.

Speakers included Henry East-Trou, executive director for the Gándara Center (pictured top left), who described the culturally sensitive Gándara programming to support prevention, treatment, and recovery. State Representative Aaron Vega (pictured top right) said that centers like Hope for Holyoke are doing their part in fighting the addiction crisis. “A common thread found in all the stories we heard today is that these people have found a new family and were given a second chance,” said Rep. Vega. Jared Owen, communications coordinator at MOAR, praised the new criminal justice reform law, which diverts more people into treatment and programming and reduces the time after which someone can seal a conviction from 10 to seven years for a felony and five to three years for a misdemeanor.

Pictured below in Hope for Holyoke t-shirts are members of this recovery support center, which runs the region’s only Spanish-language narcotics anonymous support group.


girl majesty

Por |junio 19, 2018|Eventos, Noticias, Sin categoría|Comentarios desactivados on Hope for Holyoke Hosts MOAR Western Massachusetts Policy Forum

Suicide Prevention: Watch for the Warning Signs

The recent tragic deaths of fashion designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain have ignited concern about the dramatic rise in suicides in the past two decades. According to a report released earlier this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates increased 28 percent since 1999.

Here are a few articles we’ve come across that discuss depression’s role in suicide and a number of warning signs that can help determine if a person is at risk.

According to a story in prevention.com, warning signs of suicide can vary from person to person. Some may talk outwardly about their thoughts of suicide, while others my keep their intentions secret. “Look for changes in pattern,” says Christine Moutier, MD, chief medical officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: https://www.prevention.com/health/mental-health/a21234585/signs-suicide-prevention/.

On radio station WBUR’s Here & Now program, Dr. Drew Ramsey, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, says that suicide risk factors are having a prior suicide attempt, having a mood disorder such as depression, and having a substance abuse or alcohol abuse disorder: http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2018/06/08/suicide-prevention-depression-psychiatrist.

In Psychology Today, psychologist Pam Garcy points out that the recent celebrity suicides can serve as a wake-up call for men in particular to stop buying into traditional gender norms and hiding their emotional side, being told when they were boys to “shake it off” and “man up.” Almost two-thirds of worldwide suicides are committed by men, who are less likely to get help: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fearless-you/201806/man-alert-suicide-anthony-bourdain-is-wake-call?amp.

If someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454) or the Crisis Text Line by texting 741741.

Por |junio 18, 2018|Noticias, Sin categoría|Comentarios desactivados on Suicide Prevention: Watch for the Warning Signs

The 4th Annual Frozen Yogurt 5K is Coming August 26

Get ready to race! Come join us on jueves, agosto 26 at 9:00 a. m. in downtown Northampton for a fun morning run and some free GoBerry frozen yogurt. Kids 12 and under run for free, and leashed pets are welcome. This is a great event for a great cause: in continuing to raise money for healthy educational and recreational activities this year we will be raising funds to build a universally accessible playground at our Mooreland residential group home for children.


The staging area is on the Courthouse Lawn across from the Calvin Theater. For GPS purposes please use 19 King Street Northampton, MA.

Official Times & Medal Categories 

Our 5K is officially timed by RaceWire. Medals will be awarded to the top three finishers in each of the following categories: Male, Female, 12 and under and 50 and over


A big thank you to our sponsors:


Presenting Sponsor:
W.B. Mason
Insurance Center of New England
Country Bank
Marcotte Ford
Skoler, Abbott & Presser PC
Whittlesey PC
Allied Flooring and Paint
Westfield Bank
This End Up
Merchants Fleet Management
Road Race Signage:
Copycat Print Shop
River Valley Co-op
Sideline Cheerleaders:
Eastern Electronics & Security, Inc.
Northampton Area Pediatrics


(Online registration ends at 2:00 p. m. on martes, agosto 24, but you can register in person on the morning of the race).
Click on our interactive route map below:
2018 route map
Por |junio 14, 2018|Eventos, Noticias|Comentarios desactivados on The 4th Annual Frozen Yogurt 5K is Coming August 26

ArtSong Reception Celebrates Young Artists and Performers

The 5th Annual Gándara Youth Art Exhibit, ArtSong, hosted a gallery reception and silent auction on June 7 at the former federal building, 1550 Main Street in Springfield. The family-friendly event featured youth paintings and live music performances.

Youth artists in the ArtSong Arts Enrichment Program spent months working on their pieces as a part of their art therapy. Of the 65 pieces on display, created by youth ages 3 through 17 years, more than 10 Gándara Center residential DCF programs were represented at the show.

Attendees were able to bid on all artwork on display. Event proceeds from the auction and t-shirts designed by one of the artists will directly support young artists by providing supplies to help sustain this unfunded art therapy program.

“It’s so inspiring to see what the youth created—not only for me, but also for the artists,” said Amy Porchelli, founder/director of ArtSong. “They really enjoyed the process of making art and they got a true sense of accomplishment because they saw what they could do for the community as artists.”

The ArtSong program gives the youth a place to say how they feel and what they believe, according to Porchelli. “Most therapy is focused on the individual, but this program is a peer environment, which allows them to have fun, build their confidence, and creates a lot of dialogue. It’s a very therapeutic experience,” she said.

Porchelli said some of the artists were new to the program and there were some who have been in it for quite a while and came to the reception to perform music they had developed and recorded at the Gándara Center’s Holyoke Youth Development Center media lab studio. “I’m really excited about that,” she said. “I think it shows a comfort level about being a part of this amazing enrichment program. They want to be heard. I think that ties in nicely with this year’s exhibit theme: ‘Voices of Legacy-Youth United.’ They are creating their own legacy.”

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Por |junio 12, 2018|Eventos, Noticias, Sin categoría|Comentarios desactivados on ArtSong Reception Celebrates Young Artists and Performers
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