Truth Pharm Receives Grant to Hire Local Artists

BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – A local advocacy group is getting an influx of creative contributors through an effort to support artists, nonprofits and the broader economy.

Truth Pharm, which raises awareness of the opioid epidemic and advocates for harm reduction policies, wins a grant from the Creatives Rebuild New York organization’s artist employment program.

The initiative, which was launched earlier this year in response to the COVID pandemic, aims to provide a guaranteed living wage to artists so they can work on behalf of non-profit organizations while strengthening economies. local.

7 artists will be hired by Truth Pharm and will each earn an annual salary of $65,000 plus 9,000 benefits.

Truth Pharm founder and executive director Alexis Pleus says she has always tried to integrate art into the organization’s activism, including the visuals for its annual Trail of Truth commemoration event.

“Tombstones that are painted by artists. Then you see the artwork of the live performance by the family members and the tracing,” Pleus said. “All this art. But, we kind of lost the use of art as much as I always wanted to use art at Truth Pharm. This gives us the opportunity to truly reinvigorate the arts at Truth Pharm.

Truth Pharm will also receive $175,000 over the 2-year grant to administer the program.

The 7 positions include a team of 4 photographers and videographers as well as a creative director, graphic designer and community arts liaison.

Mia Hause will lead creative workshops as liaison.

“These kinds of opportunities will give people a way to explore their own relationships with substance use and the war on drugs and the overdose epidemic,” Hause said. “I think right now we think a lot about opportunities like this giving people a place to put their grief. Especially when these deaths are so heavily stigmatized, people have nothing to do with this pain.

The video production team will be led by local photographer Yohance Bailey.

Pleus says they’ll be working on a variety of projects, including social media parodies and a full-length documentary.

Pleus says the videos will also help Truth Pharm in their advocacy for specific legislation related to the opioid epidemic.

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