Young Adults Recovering from Substance Abuse Welcomed with Art in South Boston

SOUTH BOSTON, MA – The Young Adult Recovery Destination (YARD) Project celebrated their project start up last week on March 24, 2010. The YARD Project is a collaboration of the Institute for Health and Recovery, the Gavin Foundation, and the Massachusetts Organization for Addiction and Recovery, to serve young adults (18-24) in recovery from substance abuse. Working with Boston-area artists, The Art Connection donated 16 original works of art by 14 different artists for installation in the YARD Project’s new home in South Boston. YARD Project staff hope that the art will create an environment that symbolizes freedom from a life of addiction and a life of possibilities and wonder for the young adults participating in their program.


YARD is a journey, delivering evidence-based practices in the community to young adults at all stages of treatment & recovery, as well as their support system & families, looking at replacing destructive behaviors with healthy, positive choices. YARD is a destination, providing a comfortable space for young adults in recovery to come and attend healthy activities with people their own age over coffee, meet with peer mentors, hang out during posted open hours, and enjoy a variety of drug- and alcohol-free social activitie  s.


“This is an amazing gift to our community,” said Anna-Ellen Lenart, project coordinator at YARD, “The Art Connection is a great program behind a powerful idea to connect organizations like ours to artists who live and work right in our area.” Ryan Mahoney, a board member, described the art selection for YARD as a transformative experience. “It felt like I had a new set of eyes,” Mahoney said.


YARD Project staff, clients, and board members chose works in a variety of media by Greater Boston area artists: Alia Aly, Prilla Smith Brackett, Jessica Burko, Laura Evans, Suzanne Hodes, Jennifer Hughes, Silvina Mizrahi, Karen Moss, Frances Pratt, Michael Rizzo and Annie Silverman, as well as work from collectors Hans and Herta Loeser and work by California artist Julie Brown Smith. Images of the artworks are available on request.


The Art Connection is a nonprofit organization that expands public access to visual art by placing the work of donor artists and collectors on the walls of community service organizations. This simple but powerful idea has resulted in hundreds of installations into scores of organizations, giving those who often have the least access to art direct contact in their own communities. Within these healing environments, the original works of art provide welcome opportunities for reflection, inspiration, comfort, and hope.


The Art Connection’s art placement program is made possible through the generous support of individual donors and is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. For more information, visit The Art Connection’s website, email, or call (617) 338-7668.


The Institute for Health and Recovery, led by Dr. Norma Finkelstein, is a statewide service, research, policy, and program development agency. IHR’s mission is to develop a comprehensive continuum of care for individuals, youth, and families affected by alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, mental health problems, and violence/trauma. The Gavin Foundation, led by John McGahan,provides a balance of free services to the community.


Philosophically, the Foundation is committed to the treatment of alcohol and other drug use disorders regarded as illnesses treatable with Motivation Enhancement Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Twelve Step Facilitation.