A 2015-2019 arts programming and public engagement initiative created by Peter to challenge stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness and substance use, making the world a more healing place.
In late February 2014, Peter sat down to write a blog post only two weeks after he and his family suffered an unthinkable tragedy–the death of his eldest daughter, Elisif, from a heroin overdose. Peter titled the post “A New Day” and began the early work of starting this Campaign.
Founded in 2015, the New Day Campaign was an initiative dedicated to creating and curating art-based public events and art exhibitions to educate, advocate, and bring people together in healing fellowship.
This video, filmed at the end of the first run of programming in 2015, captures the energy and impact of the Campaign.
The Campaign’s inaugural run took place from October 1-December 31, 2015. Over 92 days, the Campaign presented 16 art exhibitions and 63 free public events, and conducted a community outreach campaign in the Baltimore region that opened hearts, changed thinking and conversations, and offered pathways to action.
Peter had anticipated a one-time run of groundbreaking programming. Instead, a new, vibrant, dedicated, and wholehearted circle of thousands took shape. Supporters, funders, and participants emphatically told organizers: “It is important for the New Day Campaign to find a way to continue its unique mission of using art to challenge stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness and addiction.”
From 2016 to 2019, the Campaign continued programming, expanding its geographic reach with projects throughout Maryland. Embraced by both the arts and behavioral health communities, the Campaign offered a unique platform for advocacy, public education, community building, and healing.
In 2016, Peter was recognized by Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen with a Health Equity Leadership Award, and in 2018 received recognition from philanthropist and social entrepreneur Michael Bloomberg at The Bloomberg American Health Initiative as one of ten national leaders battling the opioid epidemic.
In June 2019, the New Day Campaign held its final exhibition and event, Sticks & Stones.
“It’s inspiring to see someone take the high road, in the face of personal loss. Peter’s efforts to reshape tragedy into something positive and useful is a metaphor for all of Baltimore and even the nation, considering the challenges we face at this moment.”
—Doreen Bolger, Director, The Baltimore Museum of Art
“Peter was able to organize an army of people from all different backgrounds to express clear and positive messages of hope and encouragement about very difficult to talk about subjects. Many people spoke of difficult times in their lives for the first time, openly, honestly and selflessly, giving hope and encouragement to others.”
—Vickie Walters, Executive Director, Institute for Behavior Resources/REACH Health Services
INTERESTED IN CONNECTING?
Do you have ideas, thoughts, or questions you’d like to share with Peter? Do you want to introduce yourself and your work to him? Perhaps explore a collaboration or involvement in one of his projects? Then Peter wants to hear from you.