FHR is an Elwyn affiliated organization.

Poetry Night personifies Studio 35 in Virginia


Person served finds inspiration and an interest in art at a local coffee shop

Arlington, VA – October 10, 2012 – The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Virginia partnered with Busboys and Poets, a popular coffee shop named in honor of American poet Langston Hughes, to present “Personal Stories of Hope and Recovery.”

With Studio 35 in mind, Mental Health Counselor Juliet Kwarteng, of FHR Virginia’s ACCESS Program, found out about this open mic, poetry night, and thought that this would be a great way for persons served to experience art and healing collaboratively.

Experiencing living arts and theater has been a part of Studio 35 at other programs in Virginia for quite some time; however, this night at Busboys and Poets, one ACCESS member experienced a feeling of empowerment from FHR’s diverse healing arts program, Studio 35, for the very first time. ACCESS Program Director Liv Salvador says that the NAMI night at Busboys and Poets in Shirlington Village really made an impression on the individual who attended it, who says she cannot wait to go back.

“This individual is struggling with major depression and often isolates herself from the community,” Kwarteng explains. “But she came to Busboys and Poets with me and listened for two hours to different stories from others about personal struggles with mental illness and recovery. She said this gave her hope and she’s excited to go back for upcoming presentations.”

Kwarteng and Salvador believe that art can inspire personal healing, recovery, and creativity. To find out more about open mic nights at Busboys and Poets, visit their website at busboysandpoets.com. For a schedule of FHR Studio 35 events, please contact Regional Director Larry Ferguson at 703-979-5077.