Refresh Collective creates recovery-rich environments for people who have lived experience of substance use disorder and trauma. Adults and young people who have seen tough things in life have so much to say and so much to offer this world. In a safe space, individuals have the opportunity to find their footing on the path to recovery; through arts-integrated programming, they can use their voices to name their pain and claim their tomorrow.
Refresh Collective's Screen Printing and Embroidery Shop in Cincinnati, Ohio is a recovery-rich worksite for women in early sobriety to develop rooted connections. We partner with Santa Maria's workforce program and residential recovery houses like Redeemed Home to train and support women who want to dedicate themselves to recovery. We not only teach basic job skills in this space, but we also foster a culture where our interns have the space and opportunity to process their daily life experiences. Through two phases of our arts-integrated program, women gain confidence, develop employable and transferable skills, and have the opportunity to develop a new sense of gratitude.
Phase I of our internship is a 3- to 6-month paid internship. Our interns often come to us very early in their journey of recovery or after years without working, so we provide a low-barrier opportunity to gain work experience while getting into a healthy rhythm of life. During their time with us, interns have the opportunity to lift their own voices in creating a line of clothing.
Interns who love screen printing, do well in the program, and are connected to recovery have the opportunity to apply for phase II. This is an additional 6-12 months during which our women interns develop arts mastery in screen printing and, more importantly, solid footing in their program of recovery.
The Screen Printing and Embroidery Shop hosts a weekly Refresh Recovery meeting. This non-affiliated meeting loosely follows the 12-step principles that are present in NA, AA, and a myriad of other recovery groups. It is open to our current staff and adult interns, as well as, upon a decision made in "group conscience," former staff and interns. Our current staff/interns in and out of substance use recovery participate during their scheduled shift to promote their own personal recovery journey and unpack some of the baggage they bring with them everywhere they go.
Refresh Collective has been working with the New Directions Youth Rehab center in Pepper Pike, Ohio, for over a decade. During the course of a week, our teaching artists work with youth who are struggling with substance addiction, helping them transform their struggles into lyrics. During this program, students get experience with lyric-writing, recording, and performing their song on the final day of the program to the whole facility. For many students, this is the first time they have created music or art focusing on anti-addiction themes.
Our work with New Directions has been credited with helping students discover an outlet, reflecting on their journeys so far, and aspiring for a more positive lifestyle after they leave the facility. The length of our partnership with New Directions is a testament to the strong relationship we have built with them and the youth they serve.