Session: An Exploration of Arts-Based Tools for Building Community Capacity, Social Capital, and Social Cohesion with Youth in Recovery (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST).

SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

121 An Exploration of Arts-Based Tools for Building Community Capacity, Social Capital, and Social Cohesion with Youth in Recovery

Friday, January 13, 2023: 2:00 PM-3:30 PM
Maryvale B, 2nd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
Cluster: Communities and Neighborhoods
Jonathan Diamond, PhD, Hilltown Youth Recovery Theatre
Cameron Pennybacker, MDiv., Diversity Assets, Denise Lackenby, MPH, University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Zach Arfa, B.A., Hilltown Youth Recovery Theatre

This workshop explores how to build connection and trauma informed ethical participatory research in a community based rural social-justice arts-centered youth recovery program. Over the past three years, rural communities have suffered under the weight of at least two epidemics: COVID-19 and the ongoing widespread opioid, heroin, and fentanyl crisis. The cascading effects of these crises continue to impact rural youth around the country, and have been acutely felt by rural youth of Massachusetts. Innovative evidence-based work to bolster processes of recovery, prevention, and social cohesion are embedded in an arts and community-based participatory program(s). As community members and researchers who live and work within these communities, it is imperative that ethical methods are employed to illuminate our community(s) capacities, creativity, and tools already at hand. With the objective to address the ongoing social isolation rural youth experience, (complicated in recent years by COVID), this workshop shares with researchers some of the arts-based and narrative tools employed in our programs. Here, we invite workshop participants to experience, study, and consider new frameworks and venues for group-led healing and connection. Working with young people in recovery, we seek tools that simultaneously empower our participants while also highlighting capacities they already have. If we expect young people to "just say no" to a chemical high, we want to also recognize the healing alternative: their own creativity. Theater, circus arts, music, movement, and story-telling are impactful anti-drug programs. Using our experiences with this youth-led, community based recovery program, workshop facilitators explore the strengths and challenges within our utilized toolset. Crossing disciplinary boundaries, the community-building offerings of data-gathering methods, and artistic narrative artifact production, focused upon: An embodied movement practice we call "devised training", accessible for all bodies, Digital story-telling as an individual and shared group healing process, Narrative therapy and reflecting-team-style conversations to discuss challenging topics as a group. Increasing youth engagement in participatory research that benefits both young people and their communities while building research literacy and skills aligned with young people's lived experience. Presenters will include student-participants, student-faculty, and the director-mentors of HYRT's multi-pronged program. This workshop will explore, experience, and discuss a selection of innovative and arts-based tools utilized by the Hilltown Youth Recovery Theatre (HYRT) and its research team. Each presenter will lead a brief visually-supported overview of the program's art produced, and conclude with a collaborative, experientially guided tour of the methods with workshop participants.

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