A public awareness initiative created, directed, and curated by Peter using arts programming to engage the Dorchester County community and challenge the stigma associated with mental illness and substance use disorder.
Located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Dorchester County—having been hit hard by the opioid epidemic—was hungry for healing and public dialogue on behavioral health. In 2018, at the invitation of the Dorchester Center for the Arts and the county’s Opioid Intervention Team, Peter curated an exhibition featuring works by more than a dozen Maryland artists addressing behavioral health matters, and organized a number of public events for advocacy, healing, and public education.
Wellness in the Storm was an exhibition in three parts: dozens of drawings by Dorchester County residents caught up in the storm of substance use accompanied by captions sharing their experiences; a photo essay spotlighting people and places in and around county seat Cambridge in the eye of the opioid epidemic; and a group exhibition of Maryland artists whose works represent a spectrum of hurting and healing.
The discussion featured a presentation by Greg Hobelmann, Chief Medical Officer of Ashley Addiction Treatment, on how addiction affects the brain, and included performances from those in or seeking recovery and stories from those featured in the Wellness in the Storm exhibition.
OPEN MIC AT DRI-DOCK
The event featured music and stories from those wishing to perform and share, helping the audience better know how the opioid epidemic and other challenges affect us all.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE OPEN MIC
This event offered a fun, friendly, supportive atmosphere for acoustic musicians, poets, and storytellers to share their talent in 10-minute time slots. Performances included everything from folk music to hip-hop.
FOUR QUESTIONS: A YOUTH FORUM WITH KONDWANI FIDEL
Presented in partnership with the Dorchester County Youth Action Council, the event featured spoken-word artist, poet, and acclaimed author Kondwani Fidel, who shared his story of growing up in inner-city Baltimore with two parents addicted to drugs, and how reading, writing, and performing saved him. Kondwani performed and led conversation around four questions youth need to talk about: Why take drugs? How do drugs make you feel? What can go wrong? What do we need?
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.