Celebrating Connection, Collaboration and Creation within the Community

The opposite of addiction is not sobriety, it is connection and social bonding.

Johann Hari, British Writer/Journalist

The Hexagon Project had the pleasure of participating in an event in late October called “Stop the Stigma: A Wellness Recovery Festival” hosted by New Roots Recovery Support Center at King’s College, along with more than a dozen other local agencies. It was a highly energized day filled with the powerful sharing of recovery stories, connections being made and…meaningful hexagon art being created.

HP Executive Director Beth Burkhauser was invited to the event by King’s About-Face Team who co-sponsored the event. The Team is leading the About-Face marketing and educational campaign funded by the AllOne Foundation, at King’s College, to remove the stigma around opioid use disorder; change the language used when talking about substance and opioid use disorder; and to educate how addiction happens and inform where students, faculty, staff and community members can find resources to help if they have the disease of addiction.

In my opinion, the only way to stop the epidemic is to teach spiritual principles in schools just like any other subject, and…put more money into education and prevention.”

Morgan Prokop, 12/4/85 – 9/1/2017

Nearly every visitor to this event–whether a King’s College student, a faculty or staff member of the college, a community member or staff from participating organizations–engaged with Beth at the Hexagon Project’s table and created a hexagon inspired by the spirit of the event, speakers’ powerful messages and prompts Beth created on a display board.

All hexagons created at the event were then displayed from November to December at King’s College’s Widmann Gallery as part of a larger exhibit organized by the Shoval Center in honor of Hunger for Justice Week. The exhibit was an amazing illustration of true collaboration—of engineering students, service learning students, health care administration graduate students, graphic design students, faculty, staff and community organizations: the Hexagon Project, the Food Dignity Movement, New Roots Recovery Support Center–educating about and raising awareness to social injustices like homelessness, food insecurity, and substance use disorder. Not only were the hexagons from the Recovery Festival on display, but some visitors to the Opening Reception of the exhibit created hexagons to grow the exhibit, including visiting middle school students of King’s College’s Hispanic Outreach Program.

Beth seized the opportunity to explain to the students how the gallery exhibit was an excellent example of interdependence and then motivated them to design their hexagons based on what inspired them most from the exhibit.

All hexagons created will be displayed on Artsonia in the coming months.