Reaching the Broken
July 31st, 2019
Storytellers Creative Arts is bringing hope and healing to DLC clients through a program that breaks through tough exteriors and goes right to the heart.
As a child, Bill Barnett worked through his own personal struggles by turning to the arts. As an adult, he’s helping others do the same.
Barnett, a visual artist and musician, is the founder of Storytellers Creative Arts, a Naples organization with a mission to “heal and transform lives through the arts.”
Storytellers partners with David Lawrence Center to help those who are facing their own struggles, including mental illness and addictions.
“I felt a calling to use the arts as a tool of healing not just for artists, but also for the broken,” says Barnett, who founded Storytellers in 2002. Barnett, a Christian, is also motivated by his faith, and sees his organization as a kind of ministry.
Storytellers has been working with DLC since 2015, primarily with clients in the Crossroads addiction recovery program. Barnett says they’re also working on programs that will benefit youth and children at DLC.
Typically, Storytellers brings in a small team of artists on Thursday nights, and works with a group of DLC clients for four weeks, using a variety of media, often in collaboration with the clients. Sometimes they’re painting or sculpting. Sometimes they read poetry or tell stories. Sometimes they use music. Anything to connect with people.
“Art is truly a vehicle of communication with people who are hurting,” says Barnett. “In the context of the creative process, I’ve seen walls broken down and hearts broken open. I often hear men and women, often with tough exteriors, say that an art project has taken them out of their heads and brought them to a place where they could openly share what they’re going through. We’re seeing healing, and seeing lives transformed.”
Scott Burgess, CEO of DLC, agrees.
“We are honored to be working with Storytellers,” he says, “serving those who come to us so often in their darkest of hours. Through holistic care, including expressive arts programs, we can help them find the light of hope needed to overcome the disease of addiction.”
Barnett is grateful for the opportunity to serve.
“We’re planting seeds of hope in the lives of broken people,” he says. “And we believe God is working through what we are doing.”
To learn more about Storytellers, visit www.storytellerscreativearts.org.