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‘The Opioid Project: Changing Perceptions through Art and Storytelling’ new exhibit in library

UMass Medical School Communications

March 20, 2019

"Charlie on Charlie" from The Opioid Project

The Lamar Soutter Library has partnered with The Opioid Project to bring a new interactive art and storytelling exhibit to UMass Medical School. The project is designed to encourage dialog, increase awareness, decrease stigma and change societal views about addiction and those affected.

In 2017, 1,874 people in Massachusetts died of drug overdoses, according to the Department of Public Health. In response to the opioid epidemic, The Opioid Project: Changing Perceptions through Art and Storytelling was founded and is facilitated by Annie Brewster, an internist at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Nancy Marks, a Boston-based visual artist.

Using art and storytelling, The Opioid Project aims to bring awareness to and humanize the perception and treatment of those touched by substance abuse disorder. Participants in the project process their personal experiences through creating art and sharing their stories; these stories are recorded and then paired with the art to create a powerful audio-visual experience. The project “communicates and breathes life into the complex social narrative, with the goal of supporting individuals and families, strengthening communities, promoting positive social change and preventing opioid abuse and opioid related deaths,” according to the founders.

When visiting the multimedia exhibit, use of a cell phone and earphones provides the best user experience, as art and audio are paired. The exhibit will be available in the library from April 2 through May 7.

For additional information about The Opioid Project or to experience the exhibit online, visit the project website.