Do you, or someone you know, have lived experience with the fentanyl crisis and want to share your story through creative expression?
Ignite is the Calgary John Howard Society (CJHS)’s new public awareness project that will showcase art representing individuals’ experiences with substance use and the stigma associated with it.
Funded by Alberta Health, Ignite will run from May to December 2018 and will use creativity as a therapeutic outlet for those who have experienced the crisis, and a learning tool for the public through art exhibits in Calgary.
CJHS will provide all materials needed at no charge, and will display the art projects throughout Calgary with the opportunity for artists to sell their work, retaining 100% of the profit.
Who can participate?
- Anyone with a connection to the opioid crisis:
- Current or past substance users
- Friends or family members of users, or those who have lost someone to fentanyl or other opioids
- First responders and support staff
- Those who have encountered stigma associated with substance use
What creative materials and education will be offered?
- Creative writing/poetry/spoken word
- Wood carving/wood burning
- Clay sculpting
- Street art/graffiti
What role does stigma play in the crisis?
Stigma affects all of us – and nearly everyone has felt stigmatized or has stigmatized others at some point in their lives.
Stigma is rarely based on facts but rather assumptions, preconceptions, and generalizations. Becoming dependent on drugs can happen to anyone.
Stigma results in prejudice, avoidance, rejection, and discrimination against individuals. It has the potential to negatively affect a person’s self-esteem, damage relationships with loved ones, and prevent those suffering from addiction from accessing supports.
The negative impact of stigma can be lessened through education. We can all do a better job of decreasing stigma around drug use.