Great Falls Forum with Marty O’Brien
Nov 16, 2017— 12:00 pm
The 2017-2018 season of the Great Falls Forum continues on Thursday, November 16th, featuring Marty O’Brien, President and Founder of Grace Street Services, with a talk entitled “Placemaking and the Foundation of Identity.” The program will take place from 12 noon to 1 PM in Callahan Hall at the Lewiston Public Library.
Prior to his current work, Marty O’Brien was hosting a weekly radio talk show “Grace Street,” with guests that included Dallas Henry Taylor, drummer for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Harold Owen, Director of The Grammy Awards charitable arm “Musicare.” It was during this time that he read about the founding of Friends Hospital in Philadelphia, with dignity, place, and belonging as core values that continue to this day. This led to the idea that empathy and design could create environments that shimmer with dignity and grace.
He went on to found Grace Street Services and was awarded the “Innovator of the Year Award” by Colleagues in Augusta Maine in 2016. Marty has also produced plays and art shows on various topics relating to addiction, and in 2004, produced the documentary film “A Call to Return,” about the devastating effects of the misuse of the medication Oxycontin.
In his Great Falls Forum presentation, Marty will focus on the power of rehabilitation in our community and the narrative urgency of belonging, as well as place making, the design activity that uses communication to connect people to place. He writes: “The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It’s belonging. Finding place in story and beginning to author new stories out of the bleak landscape of addictions tyranny and the weight of trauma carried by so many we serve. We believe everyone has worth. We believe that narrative community can take part in restoring our neighborhoods. We believe the forgotten ones can restore beauty as they find belonging. We believe that beauty is social justice. The arts hold the key to thrusting beauty into neglected places and creating economies of place and well-being.”
The Great Falls Forum is a monthly, brown-bag speaker series featuring statewide and regional leaders in public policy, business, academia and the arts. The programs are free, open to all and no reservations are required. Coffee, tea and bottled water are provided for a donation at the event. The Forum is a co-sponsorship of the Sun Journal, Bates College and LPL.
For more information, contact LPL Adult & Teen Services at (207) 513-3135 or LPLReference@Gmail.com