The Cultural Center of Cape, in collaboration with Stella Wolf, is pleased to introduce Sober Social Evenings starting in January.  These events will be held monthly in order to serve those in recovery from addiction by offering a vibrant, entertaining, substance-free atmosphere highlighting different themes and activities centered around the arts.

Each Sober Social Evening will feature a fun and engaging theme: paint nights, dance parties, art workshops, a Sober Story Slam, open mics, and a pizza-making night to name a few.  Most importantly, each Sober Social Evening will provide people within the recovery community an opportunity to socialize and enjoy each other’s company in a festive, joyful environment.

While the program is geared towards those in recovery, all are welcome to attend. The first Sober Social will be held on Friday, January 13, from 7:30 to 10pm and will be a trivia game night with prizes, pizza, and a hot chocolate bar.  The Sober Socials are free, and all refreshments are complimentary. The Cultural Center is located at 307 Old Main Street in South Yarmouth.

Stella Wolf, a Cape Cod native, is passionate about expanding on the community’s response to its current opiate addiction epidemic. She brings a personal connection to the issue as her fiancé, Andrew, is in recovery. Says Wolf, “When we first started dating, we noticed how limited our options were in terms of nightlife.  There was nowhere to go that didn’t involve alcohol.  As a result, we ended up at a lot of events best suited for families with children but would really have liked to find a place to socialize with other adults our own age.”

Andrew agrees: “It’s hard when you’re new to recovery to feel like you can still go out and have a social life.  Alcohol is everywhere and to be around people who are partying can be really hard, especially in early recovery.  Having a place where you can have fun without alcohol is a really freeing and positive experience for recovering addicts.”

Wolf goes on to add, “I believe our community would benefit greatly from something like this.  Even people who aren’t addicts have loved the idea of having something else to do besides the bar scene on a weekend night.  The Cape is a vacation destination, so we have plenty of great places to have a drink.  It’s evident, given our current local crisis, that we need great places to go that don’t involve drinking.”

Stella approached Lauren Wolk, Associate Director of the Cultural Center of Cape Cod, and expressed the need for a program like this in the community.  Lauren brought Director of Education Amy Neill on board, and the three quickly designed the program. Within weeks, they had secured a grant from the Community Fund and the Ruckert Family Fund of the Cape Cod Foundation to help defray expenses.

“We’re very grateful to Stella for bringing the idea to us, to Andrew and others in the recovery community for advising us and helping us spread the word, and to the Cape Cod Foundation for its support,” says Wolk. “We’ve applied for additional funding so we can offer free daycare to parents who would otherwise not be able to attend the Sober Socials. And we hope to partner with social services to arrange for transportation from Falmouth and Mashpee, where the need for a program like this is significant.

“We at the Cultural Center understand the important role that the arts play in remedies to social problems,” Wolk says, “and we believe that any solution to addiction has to provide ongoing treatment for those in recovery, including alternatives to the behaviors that led to addiction in the first place. Helping those in recovery stay sober by learning healthy and creative ways to have fun and engage in society will exert a positive influence on others struggling with addiction. And friends and family who also engage in these creative activities will have fresh and effective tools for helping those in recovery stay in recovery. We’re thrilled to be part of any program that helps others lead healthy and productive lives.”

To support or learn more about the Sober Socials and the Cultural Center of Cape Cod, please contact Lauren at lwolk@cultural-center.org, call 508-394-7100, or visit www.cultural-center.org