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Home of the Arts for Freedom program

“Building a Healthier Community through Personal and Professional Example”

Peer Recovery Art Project is our continuous campaign to end stigma, revitalize downtown areas, while implementing new strategies for an all-inclusive and, therefore, healthier community.

Volume 5

Issue 1

EXECUTIVE OFFICER NOTES Was there ever a year in the Modesto arts scene that was more amazing than the one just past? Not in recent years! As usual I’m sure there are plenty of sideline critics who could argue the point but from where we stand at Peer Recovery Art Project, and we stand tall, we love the wave of endless possibility we found ourselves upon. Our compassion for others and our united commitment to serve our community has rewarded us and has benefited our partners in truly miraculous ways. Saturday, January 5, as we painted bowls for the Second Harvest Food Bank, I listened as many said how much fun it was to be part of such an awesome event. It’s magic when people come together to support a great cause. Being part of the greater whole is something we all need. All-inclusive communities are healthier communities. There are many reasons why we feel our work is making a difference. We were just nominated as Best Nonprofit in the Modesto Chamber of Commerce annual award competition. This is strong confirmation that our peers in the local business world believe in us as well. We recently held a staff and volunteer recognition event with more than 50 active members from our operations team in house. Plus we can count 150 to 175 freelance artists signed up to show their work at one of our exhibit locations or festival events.

January 2013 Night. He was more than kind for making the trip and we are really proud to have gained national attention for our work. (See photo, Page 4.) We also gained recent local attention. The documentary “Mecca,” released last month by the Runnels Brothers at the Building Imagination Center, included a segment on the Peer Recovery Art Gallery. These are just two affirmations by peers who support us. Peer Recovery Art Project is a peer support mutual aide community service arts organization and we are proud of the quality of work we do! ~ John Black, CEO

2013 SHIRT DESIGN BY “THE FEAN” Peer Recovery Art Project was blessed by the awesome artists who came to join in the Second Harvest Bowl Painting festivities, January 5. $100 plus a t-shirt will be awarded to “The Fean,” the aerosol artist who painted this design. We will use the design as our organization’s 2013 t-shirt logo. Artists are pros, too ... please treat them as such.

Another highlight this past month! Jon T. Perez, Ph.D., Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration’s Region IX Administrator, visited us for December Art Walk

Peer Recovery Art Project Renaissance


In this new column, each month our Special Projects manager will feature her choice from the large selection of creative items in our gallery. One month she might feature jewelry; maybe a painting, sculpture or even a book of poetry the next month. Linda’s Pic this month is a donated painting by Professor Barr-Brayman, Art Instructor at MJC. This month’s painting was chosen for its angelic, spiritual nature and its popularity with gallery visitors. Thanks, Linda, and thank you all for supporting Peer Recovery Art Project.

Linda and Terri paint bowls

BOWL PAINTING PARTY FOR SECOND HARVEST FOOD BANK EMPTY BOWL BENEFIT Peer Recovery Art Project participants came together to paint 200 of the most original, genuine, one-of-a-kind hand crafted bowls. What an amazing bunch of artistic people came together for a worthwhile cause! Peer Recovery Art Project has been the lead partner in Second Harvest’s Empty Bowl Benefit two years in a row. We will have 100 pieces of our original art work on display at the Empty Bowl event Friday, February 8. For info or tickets call Jessica at 209 239-2091

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS! WE BELIEVE IN U! Volunteers and staff members received well-deserved accolades Saturday, December 15, at the gallery. Over 50 volunteers, staff, board members, artists and family members attended the end-of-year thank you celebration honoring all who helped Peer Recovery Art Project gallery during its first year of operation. John Black, Arts for Freedom Administrator, and Betty Barnes, Program Coordinator, presented framed certificates of appreciation to volunteers, noting the number of hours each worked in 2012. Also presented was a framed, personalized list of “Good things about...” each volunteer and staff member from which John read excerpts aloud to the audience. As the tokens of appreciation were presented, each recipient was enthusiastically applauded in recognition of his/ her contributions to the gallery.


“Art Angel” by Professor Barr-Brayman, MJC Art Instructor

CHAMPIONS, continued Following the award ceremony, Garden of Eatin’ filled hearty made-to-order burritos with delicious chicken, pork, rice, beans, sour cream, cheese and other condiments. Yummy cookies and other delectable desserts and beverages were arrayed on tables around the room. A gift exchange and social were enjoyed when all had eaten their fill. Sincere thanks to John and Betty for making this event personal, touching and meaningful. Far left: Volunteers, staff, artists and family members socialize after the ceremony. Right: PRAP Board members, L to R, Ken McCall, Carol Jo Hargreaves and John Black.

January 2013 REFLECTION / RECOLLECTION By John Black

Have I ever reminded anyone just how fortunate I have been the last 59 years? Well, let’s go. Born into a royal family in the 50s; took a trip in the 60s; awoke and found myself locked up in the Pontiac, Michigan jailhouse in the late 70s; walked aimlessly through the South Modesto Triangle until the mid-80s; got sober; skyrocketed (albeit slowly) into a volunteer job in the late 90s then transitioned to paid work; entered school in 2000; started JB Presents in 2001; put on my first show at The State Theatre in 2001; did my first Modesto Blues Festival in 2004; married the love of my life in 2007 and started working for Stanislaus County; went 501 (c) 3 with my first non-profit in 2009; graduated Phi Kappa Phi from CSU Stanislaus in 2010 and traveled England and Ireland to visit family; cowrote a proposal and was awarded a three-year contract for the Arts for Freedom program in 2011; started a new supervisory position for Stanislaus County and celebrated five years together with my wife and family in Cabo San Lucas in 2012.

“PEERS SPEAK OUT FOR HOPE” There are many in our community and beyond who have stories to tell. “Peers Speak Out for Hope” is an evolving monthly speaker series designed as an informal way to get to know some of the area’s most fascinating people as they tell their tales. The first speaker, Ruben Guzman, will join us Saturday, January 12, to kick off the series. Ruben has some very worthwhile health information to share with gallery visitors. Look for the speaker line-up and schedule to be released in our February edition of Renaissance.

It all proves to me that my life is more than just a hobby!

GOOD DAY SACRAMENTO VISITS PRAP GALLERY Alan Sanchez was in Modesto checking out the Peer Recovery Art Project for a “Good Day Sacramento” segment airing Monday, December 10. PRAP staff member Pinky Patch graciously hosted Alan and his film crew on a tour, showing off artwork from handmade jewelry Pinky and cache boxes to paintings, and explained the gallery’s purpose to revitalize downtown areas by getting people in the community involved. Pinky and Alan discussed how the gallery offers a way to help local artists show their work to the public and is something anyone can be part of. Pinky emphasized the gallery has something reasonably priced for everyone and mentioned that many local artists will work with customers to create custom-made pieces. Alan likened the PRAP gallery to “… a 3rd Thursday Art Walk every day.”


As anyone can see by the amazing photo shows we post on the Peer Recovery Art Project Facebook page, we share many partners in our movement. You might have an understanding of our organization as well as an attraction to become part of this culturally all-inclusive nonprofit community service arts organization. We welcome you to join us and to show us new ways we might partner in service together for a healthier community.

Great job, Pinky! Excellent PR for the gallery!


Peer Recovery Art Project Renaissance Peer Recovery Art Project gallery, home of the ARTS FOR FREEDOM program is located at:


1222 J Street, Modesto CA

Email, call or text: (209) 581-1695 Open Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; 3rd Thursday Art Walk nights, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Find us at the intersection of 13th and J Streets between the State Theatre and Crow Trading; right next door to the Camera Center. Arts for Freedom is sponsored by Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors and Stanislaus Behavioral Health and Recovery Services


Left to right: Adrian Carroll, BHRS Assistant Director, John Black, PRAP CEO, and Madelyn Schlaepfer, BHRS Director, welcome Jon Perez, SAMHSA Region IX Administrator to the PRAP gallery.

1209 McHenry Ave Modesto, CA (209) 522-1003

John Black, CEO, Arts for Freedom Administrator, Operations Manager Ken McCall, Chief Financial Officer Pacific Media Group Carol Jo Hargreaves, Corporate Secretary, Editor Jodi McClure, Bookkeeper Team Members: Michael Anderson, Art Director Betty Barnes, Arts for Freedom Program Coordinator, Fundraising, Special Projects Linda Hornsby-Black, Special Projects, CEO’s Assistant

You can donate on Facebook, too! Send your TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS to: Peer Recovery Art Project, Inc. PO Box 5354, Modesto, CA 95353 Drop us a line or send a request to be included on our list of supporters.



The official monthly publication of Peer Recovery Art Project, Inc., a non-profit 501(C)3; home of the Arts for Freedom program.