Conscious party: Sounds for Recovery

FACING FORWARD: Dark shades contrast the light Douglas Lail says he sees in individuals overcoming addiction. "He actually does portraits of folks that graduate from Sobriety Court," says the local organization's coordinator, Jillian Davis. "And then, he uses their portraits and stories in his exhibit." Lail will display these works at the Sounds for Recovery benefit. Images courtesy of Lail

WHAT: A benefit concert for Buncombe County’s Veterans Treatment Court, Sobriety Court and Adult Drug Treatment Court

WHERE: First Presbyterian Church

WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 1, from 7-9:30 p.m.

WHY: In addition to the goal of treating and rehabilitating, rather than incarcerating, citizens, Buncombe County’s Veterans Treatment Court, Sobriety Court and Adult Drug Treatment Court are in pursuit of greater financial sustainability. “And we’re trying to be creative about how we do that,” says probation/parole officer James Lewis, “because we live in a community [where] the culture is very entertainment-focused.”

Accordingly, the courts’ inaugural Sounds for Recovery event hinges on live sets by local musicians like Malcolm Holcombe, George Terry, Io Trio, Aaron Price, The Bluebirds and Raising Caine.” Several [acts] are connected to recovery and have their own stories,” Lewis says. Others were simply eager to participate.

Visual art, too, will be on display, specifically the Hello My Name Is… portrait series by Douglas Lail. Early in his departure from addiction, the local artist began pairing black-and-white drawings of his recovering peers with their quotes or backstories. The project grew from a handful of pensive depictions to dozens of them, earning financial support from Kickstarter backers and the Asheville Area Arts Council.

For spoken programming, court participants will recount personal experiences, and organizers plan to honor National Overdose Awareness Day (Aug. 31) and National Recovery Month (September) before adjourning.

“We’ll also be sharing about the [court] programs themselves — what they offer, success stories. … We ultimately want to raise awareness of what the county and our state are doing. It’s a progressive approach to criminal justice and corrections to address people’s individual needs from a treatment perspective, rather than just treating them as a docket,” Lewis explains. “But mainly, we want to offer a good night of music for a good cause.”

Admission to Sounds for Recovery costs $35 and includes a commemorative T-shirt. Visit for tickets or further information. 

About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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