Gándara Youth Exhibit Celebrates Young Artists and Performers

The 6th Annual Gándara Youth Exhibit, ArtSong, hosted a gallery reception and silent auction on December 12 at Venture Valley Mentors in downtown Springfield. Artists in Gándara Center’s youth residential programs created 54 pieces as part of their art therapy for the event, which also included music performances.

Attendees were able to bid on all artwork on display. Event proceeds from the auction and t-shirts designed by one of the artists directly support young artists by providing supplies to help sustain Gándara’s art therapy program.

ArtSong is a fine arts specialty program that uses art instruction and innovative concepts to empower disadvantaged youth through creativity and inspires original artistic works and personal development. One of the artists, 13-year-old Alicia, liked the program, had high praise for the program. “It was great because it helped me express my feelings,” she said.

Hal, 22, submitted a painting and performed several songs. He said he has created art as long as he can remember. “Creativity has always been in my hands,” he explained. “I just love doing art.”

Amy Porchelli, founder/director said she enjoyed seeing the process of making art boost the youths’ confidence. “One of my favorite aspects of this year’s show was that the youth contributed what inspires them personally, whether their paintings were abstract or representative,” she said.

By |December 16th, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Gándara Youth Exhibit Celebrates Young Artists and Performers

View our December Newsletter Online!

Gándara Center’s December Newsletter is now online. You can read about our Plymouth Recovery Center moving to a larger, more centrally located site thanks to a state grant; our recruitment efforts in Puerto Rico; our Community Care Package Drive; and our Continuum staff getting ready for its annual Thanksgiving Day deliveries to some of its more needy families.

You can also read about our Intensive Care Coordination and In Home Therapy services. View video of Robert Jencks, a case manager with the Gándara Center-Plymouth County MISSION Re-entry Program, which provides services for incarcerated men at the Plymouth County Correctional Facility.

In addition, view TV segments featuring Sara Moriarty, director of Gándara Center’s Hampden County Tobacco Free Community Partnership; and our director of marketing and development, Jade Rivera-McFarlin, on Better Community on Western Mass News discussing our agency’s Community Care Package Drive and our #GivingTuesday fundraising efforts.

Our newsletter can be found online here.

By |December 11th, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on View our December Newsletter Online!

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

The 6th Annual Gándara Youth Art Exhibit, ArtSong, will host a gallery reception and auction on Thursday, December 12, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at a NEW LOCATION: Valley Venture Mentors, 276 Bridge Street, Springfield. You don’t want to miss this incredible art show from the youth in our residential DCF programs, who have been spending months working on their pieces as part of their art therapy. They have been exploring, learning, collaborating, and making great art!

ArtSong is a fine arts specialty program that uses art instruction and innovative concepts to empower disadvantaged youth through creativity and inspires original artistic works and personal development.

The ArtSong program gives the youth a place to say how they feel and what they believe, according to Amy Porchelli, founder/director of ArtSong. “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.

Proceeds from this free event will help sustain our art therapy program.

The following are examples of ArtSong works from past exhibits:

By |December 4th, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Don’t Miss ArtSong, Our 6th Annual Gándara Youth Art Exhibit Reception, on December 12

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

Gándara Center’s Stop Access Springfield Coalition is hosting a Town Hall event: Empower the Next Generation, on Wednesday, December 11, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Roca Springfield, 29 School Street. Members of the community are encouraged attend and help their children understand the hidden dangers of substance use.

Featured activities will Narcan training (a drug that reverses opioid overdoses), a prescription drug dropbox, and a demonstration of impairment goggles, which allow participants to “experience” the altered vision that substance use causes.

This free event includes dinner.

Stop Access Springfield works to reduce substance use in the South End, Maple High/Six Corners and Forest Park communities. The coalition works to create positive vital communities and implement citywide strategies that highlight substance use prevention and move it to a priority status in Springfield. The coalition focuses on collection of underage drinking and other data, community capacity building, public health planning to reduce and prevent substance use, and implementation of these strategies.

The coalition is coordinated by Gándara Center and funded by a grant from the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The Stop Access Coalition invites all interested residents and organizations of the city of Springfield to participate in its group.

By |December 5th, 2019|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Stop Access Springfield Coalition Town Hall Event on December 11 to Warn of Substance Use Dangers