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Phoenix House News & Views: Arts & Expression Issue
Phoenix House

October, 2011

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Phoenix House News & Views | Arts & Expression Issue
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 Message from the President

Dear Friends,

At Phoenix House, we know that recovery is about more than just sobriety; it’s about finding ways to face the past, enjoy the present, and look forward to the future. As the autumn days grow shorter, many of our clients are heading indoors and turning towards the creative arts as a way to share their experiences and express their emotions.

In this issue, you’ll see the fantastic works of art, poetry, and music that our clients are producing and how these modes of self-expression provide therapeutic outlets in treatment and throughout their lives. You’ll also learn about the ways in which celebrated artists are using their talents to support our clients and programs.

As always, thank you for cheering our clients on as they create their personal paths to recovery.

Warm regards,

Howard Meitiner
President and CEO

   Phoenix House Teens  
Enter Music Contest


Over the past several months, young clients in our Phoenix Rising Music Program have been busy writing, composing, and recording original songs for the MusiCares and GRAMMY Foundation’s Teen Substance Abuse Awareness through Music Contest.  Part of NIDA’s National Drug Facts Week, this annual contest allows musicians to help spread the message about the importance of healthy choices and the dangers of substance abuse. Last year, 18-year-old Vera Marquardt of our Phoenix House Academy of Los Angeles won third place—and we’re optimistic that Phoenix House will continue its winning streak.  Adding to the excitement, our friend Kara DioGuardi will announce this year’s winners at the end of the month. To learn more about how music inspires young people in recovery, watch this video created by teens at our Phoenix House Academy of Westchester.

  Visual Artists Support
           Phoenix House

Renowned glass sculptor Dale Chihuly recently donated one of his pieces to Phoenix House Academy of Westchester’s Hoving Family Cloister Garden. On November 19, the piece will be included in a live and online auction, presented by Heritage Auctions, which will benefit our Academy’s bright and courageous clients.

This month, Phoenix House Youth Services Committee Member and artist Wendy Mark opened her solo show Drive at Manhattan’s Jill Newhouse Gallery. With 150 guests in attendance, the opening was a tremendous success. Wendy’s work, on display through October 29, includes beautiful watercolors, drawings, and monotypes; 20 percent of her sales will benefit our amazing young clients at Phoenix House. This fall, the teens will also join Wendy for a fascinating monotype workshop.

Kara DioGuardi's Benefit
      Chicago Performance

Last week, Phoenix House benefited from a special performance of Broadway’s Tony Award-winning hit musical CHICAGO, starring our friend Kara DioGuardi, creator of our Phoenix Rising Music Program. Presented by, the show donated a percentage of its profits to four of Kara’s favorite charities, including Phoenix House. The highlight of the week, however, was when five clients from our Phoenix Academy of Westchester got to see the show. They were truly “jazzed.”  To read more about the benefit, click here.

 True Story: James


My drug use went from weekend smoking and drinking to cocaine to smoking crack to sniffing heroin to a combination of all of the above. There were several low points in my addiction—I was shot, for one. But my real rock bottom was being separated from my family. I came to realize that if I didn’t work on myself, the drugs were always going to come back—so I went to Phoenix House Long Island City Center. Now, I’m dedicated to my treatment and to staying clean. I hadn’t drawn or painted for the past 15 years due to my drug use, and treatment has helped me get in touch with my artistic side again. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to make art.

Click here to read more of James’ story.

 Poetry Reading &
     Balloon Release


To commemorate the conclusion of National Recovery Month, Phoenix House Orange County hosted a poetry reading featuring original work by Phoenix House clients and Director of Planning Maja Trochimczyk, Ph.D. Dr. Trochimczyck also explained the ways in which poetry can help with setting goals, dealing with personal issues, and expressing spiritual ideas. The reading was followed by a celebratory balloon release in which clients attached notes about recovery to helium balloons and set them free—letting their hopes reach for the stars.

    Art Showcase


Every day, we share exciting visual content on our Tumblr blog, including photos, videos, quotes—and some truly inspirational client artwork like this mural by Phoenix House Long Island City Center alumnus D.H. Kim. The painting symbolizes the transformational process of recovery and affirms Nathaniel Hawthorne’s words: “Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”

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