Spectrum Health Systems’ new Women and Children’s Center recently opened its doors to serve its clients; and one of the first opportunities offered to the new residents was the chance to select twenty works of art for their new home through The Art Connection.
Spectrum is a nonprofit substance abuse and mental health treatment provider caring for over 20,000 individuals annually. Their Women’s and Children’s Center in Westborough is designed to serve pregnant and post-partum women experiencing problems with alcohol and other drugs. Children up to the age of five may live with their mothers at the facility which gives women the opportunity to pursue treatment while maintaining custody of their kids as they attempt to turn their lives around with proper treatment and compassionate care.
The art selected in December was reviewed, discussed, argued, and advocated for by a committee of 10+ new residents and staff. They shared their experiences saying:
“It means a lot to me to be able to say that I had a part in decorating a great program. It was so nice working as a community to make choices together.” – client participant
“I think the art will bring our program alive. This chance gave these ladies a sense of importance allowing them to be part of something wonderful for other mothers and children to come.” -staff participant
“I am a resident building a home for myself, my peers, and future residents. The art will cause thought, reaction, and stimulation for many years to come, and each piece will tell a different story.” -client participant
Donated art will hang in the entry, great room, daycare, hallways, lounges, and other community spaces to promote the feelings of self worth and self confidence the women need to break their cycle of addiction. With some families living at the program for up to a year, the artwork will create an environment that encourages their full potential.
Kendra Marien, Spectrum’s Clinical Director, Massachusetts Inpatient Services commented on the process, “Our meeting with Tova reminded me how much the aesthetic around us can impact our thoughts, feelings, and mood. The Art Connection is helping us transform a treatment environment into a healing space.” And Andrew Strecker, the Development Associate who spearheaded the collaboration between Spectrum and The Art Connection noted, “It was great to have Spectrum’s clients take such an active part in the selection process. I think they really appreciated being given that responsibility. They took the process seriously, but also had an enjoyable time picking out the incredible artwork that will be an important part of what is a new home for them and their children.”