Art Biz
A beacon of hope and courage
on the corner of Beacon and Centre.

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping."
- Mr. Rogers

The ancients did not know addictions as we know them, as disorders of the brain. They did, however, deeply understand "attachments". We have a propensity as humans to "cling" to "earthly" things we hope will relieve us from discomfort and uncertainty. As children, we cling to our parents until we can become our own parents. Unfortunately, most people don't grow up and our world is largely populated (and led) by adults who have never fully grown up.

"Growing up" is akin spiritually to "waking up". This is the at the heart of the spiritual life: "waking up". And we cannot wake anyone else up but ourselves. What we CAN do is create environments where we and others can be awakened.

Our current environment nationally is waking many of us up (myself included) to the experience of numerous marginalized groups. Few of us look forward to being abruptly shaken awake, but the gift of sight is glorious to those who have lived in darkness. 

The Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency one year ago this week. Over 42,000 people died from opioid overdoses in 2016 and 2017 was the worst year ever for drug overdoses in the US.

Thursday night has a specific topic and is focused on a specific issue, but make no mistake - this is a spiritual event which transcends our own personal connection opioids. It will be an evening of shared stories and shared hope. It will be a gathering of remarkable people, people Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers) would point to when the news gets scary.

Waking up with you,



three highlights

Thurs 10/25
Opioids & Our Community

This unique contribution to our 'critical conversations' will include an unprecedented number of contributors and affinity-based breakout sessions for more focused conversation. 

Opiod overdose is being called a national crisis by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Someone you know has been affected.

Read more here:


Deb Youngblood, Ph.D.
Commissioner of Health and Human Services, City of Newton, MA. 

Brian DeLeskey, MSW, LICSW.
Intervention/Prevention Counselor, Newton South High School, MA.

Scott Weiner, M.D.
President of the Massachusetts College of Emergency Physicians.
Director of Brigham's hospital-wide opioid education and stewardship program.

Two identical 30-minute breakout sessions so participants can have the option to try two different sessions.

Workshop for Teens through Music & Dialogue 
Jeff Levin, M.A.T., M.S.W. Life Coach

Relieving Stress through Yoga
Peggy McLoughlin, E-R.Y.T., 500, YogaNewton

Ecumenical Interfaith Meditation
Alicia Johnson, Newton Interfaith Clergy Association

When & How to Use Narcan? 
Scott Weiner, M.D.

Sun 10/28
2nd Hour

Our Second Hour series continues Oct 28. Each of the three Sundays includes three special guests: two Shia Muslims and a Christian from the Muslim majority country of Indonesia. The series began on September 28 with "Spirituality and Devotion". 

"Learning about other people and cultures in intended to make the world safe for human differences," said special guest Mahtab Sirdani at our first gathering. Mahtab was joined by Hesham Dehgani, both of who are Shia Muslims (a community that we hear about and encounter less frequently) and Hans Harmakaputra, a Christian from the Muslim majority country of Indonesia

For more details, see

Sun 11/4 Open & Affirming Open Mic

A special kind of open mic: an Open (and Affirming) Mic night.

A space for people across age range and ability to come and celebrate a gift they have or want to explore. Although there may be some of that, you don't need to be an "expert" or be on Broadway to come up to the mic. Sing a song, play an instrument, tell a story, perform an act, speak about your art. Anything you are passionate about.

We will affirm and celebrate all ages and abilities. 10 people. 4-5 minutes each.

Interested in signing up or displaying your art? Email john[at]
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