Open Doors

OPEN DOORS connects Coler Hospital residents affected by gun violence with the resources to improve their lives and use their stories to inspire action for safer, more just communities. 

Since OPEN DOORS’ launch in June 2016, the project has established creativity workshops, where our clients frame, develop, and share their experiences, with guidance from visiting artists. Through these workshops and one-on-one coaching, clients identify personal goals to enrich their lives, and ultimately, to reintegrate into the communities from which they’ve been cut off.

OPEN DOORS provides grants to individuals for course fees and study supplies. We’ve funded Arabic language, guitar, and music & technology lessons; school clothes and travel to GED classes; and a computer grant to our first client to attend college.

Until last year, this young man hadn’t touched a pen in four years, since he was injured by gun violence. Inspired to pursue his education by visiting artist D. Watkins, who shared his own transformation from crack dealer to award-winning author, our client started working with a coach, and began classes at La Guardia Community College. Majoring in communications, he says, “If I tell my story maybe somebody else doesn’t have to go through what I did.”

In 2017 OPEN DOORS clients and visiting artists will present their poetry and personal narratives in a series of public events, where they’ll engage with audiences in a dialogue around social justice and personal agency. Additionally OPEN DOORS is creating a podcast to reach a larger audience and to give our clients media skills.

OPEN DOORS builds bridges of conversation across generational, geographic, racial, and economic divides in pursuit of a more equal, connected society.

To directly support our efforts please note OPEN DOORS in the memo section of your check made out to the Angelica Patient Assistance Program, or donate on Angelica’s website and type OPEN DOORS in the notes section of the online form.




Jennilie Brewster - Project Director

Melanie Greenberg - Outreach & Development / Coach
Jenessa Abrams - Outreach & Development

Alexa Smithwrick - Communications / Podcaster

Marlon Peterson - Strategist / Visiting Artist, Spring 2017
Steven Willis - Visiting Artist, Winter 2017

David Tomas Martinez - Visiting Artist, Fall 2016

D. Watkins - Visiting Artist, Winter 2016