Yes Arts Recovery

Bookmaking Christina Hand.JPG

Yes Arts Recovery, in partnership with Franklin County Drug Court, uses a variety of hands-on, multi-disciplinary artistic approaches with women in Drug Court to support their recovery. In weekly, court-mandated meetings led by our artists, each woman is introduced to a variety of methods (writing, drama, music, sculpture and visual arts) by which she can explore her life experiences and struggles, as well as new strategies to support her recovery, helping her move toward a healthier lifestyle. An ongoing photography project led by Rebekah Berry teaches participants to slow down and look at the details around them, which has encouraged mindfulness and resulted in some wonderful images. You can see some of them by looking at our Museum of Healing Hearts Gallery.

Yes Arts Artistic Director Doris Thurber and Instructional Director Karen Hatter lead these weekly sessions, and also coordinate monthly visiting artists to introduce new styles, perspectives and art forms. Visitors have included musicians, painters, fiber artists, bakers and writers, including two former Kentucky Poet Laureates - George Ella Lyon and Frank X Walker.


Beyond impact on individuals, art work created by, with and about people in recovery reaches audiences as only the arts can do, telling the story of addiction and inspiring empathy and action. 

The program’s first year is chronicled in Art of Recovery, a 30-minute documentary film by Joanna Hay that has aired on KET and screened at Frankfort’s Grand Theatre and at the Speed Museum in Louisville.

If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes is a powerful multi-media exhibit featuring life-sized self-portrait sculptures created by Drug Court participants with direction from artists Doris Thurber and Jennifer Zingg, with a haunting soundtrack of interview excerpts woven with violin music created by Joanna Hay.

Songwriters Jeri Katherine Howell and Nat Colten wrote Bent But Not Broken in collaboration with the women in the Recovery Program. The women wanted to write a song that would help non-addicts understand what they are going through or have gone through.

Bent But Not Broken

By Jeri Katherine Howell & Nat Colten

Copyright January 2017. All Rights Reserved.

Could be anyone among you

Who is bent but not broken through

Lost, alone and can’t find home

I’m addicted and I don’t belong

Honestly, I want to be honest with you

If life went differently, you could have been here, too

Honesty, it aches through and through

We’re on the road to recovery

And the road it goes on

Bibles, switches, churches and lies 

Faithful since childhood, but now I’m on trial can’t do this on my own

Winding back again and again to the crossroads

Future defined by this stuff in a cup

Been holding it in just to fill it up

Mama you said you wouldn’t do it this time

Daughter you said you wouldn’t do it this time

Sister you said you wouldn’t do it this time

Well, I’m sober now and I’m ready to spread my wings and fly

Honestly, I wanted to be honest with you

Cuz if life went differently, you could have been me

We’re on the road to recovery

And the road it goes on…

and the road it goes on…