New London opioid overdose photo exhibit travels to Hartford

The city of New London, in collaboration with The Overdose Action Team of Southeastern Connecticut and the Alliance For Living, is inviting legislators, staff and the public to Thursday’s opening of “Living Proof,” a photo exhibit of personal stories of struggle and hope while living with opioid use disorder.

The exhibition will be unveiled during a gathering from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday in the Old Judiciary Room at the State Capitol. A presentation and reception will take place at 2:30 p.m. to recognize Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Commissioner Delphin-Rittman and Lauren Siembab, the opioid services manager, along with local legislators for their efforts to address the overdose crisis.

"'Living Proof' is a powerful photography exhibit featuring portraits and stories of REAL individuals living with substance use disorder,” said Jeanne Milstein, the director of Human Services for New London and part of the Overdose Action Team Collaborative. “These very personal and heartfelt stories of their success over adversity are a lesson to us all, but more importantly help to destigmatize and increase our understanding of their chronic disease and how ALL of us can and must help our communities.”

The exhibit was inspired by a similar one by photographer Michael Foster, which Opioid Action Team members and volunteers Joseph Cypriano and Lisabeth Billingsly saw at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center in Vermont in 2018. Professional photographer Fred Hartman volunteered his time to take the portraits.

"Living Proof" first opened in New London in September with the goal of creating a traveling exhibit that could be easily displayed in community centers, libraries and other venues. It will be at the State Capitol from Feb. 18 to 28.



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