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
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