The Cultural Center of Cape, in collaboration with Stella Wolf, launched the Sober Social program in January 2017 to provide those in recovery from addiction—and anyone interested in alcohol-free socializing and entertainment—with an alternative to the bar scene. After twelve successful events, the Cultural Center has partnered with three other non-profit cultural organizations to extend the program’s reach.
Known as The Quartet, the Cultural Center of Cape Cod, Cotuit Center for the Arts, Wellfleet Preservation Hall, and the Cape Conservatory have collaborated on several other projects to increase their collective capacity to serve. In 2018, they will again pull together to serve those for whom the arts can be a critical component in efforts to live healthy and productive lives.
Late in 2016, Stella Wolf approached Lauren Wolk, Associate Director of the Cultural Center of Cape Cod, and expressed the need for a program like this in the community. Engaged to a young man in recovery from addiction, Stella was well aware of the lack of meaningful opportunities to socialize without the presence of alcohol.
“When we first started dating,” she said, “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.” Her fiancé, Andrew, agreed: “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.”
The Cultural Center staff was eager to provide a home for the events, believing that any solution to addiction had to provide ongoing treatment for those in recovery, including alternatives to the behaviors that led to addiction in the first place. In 2017, those alternatives included live music, trivia nights, films, hands-on arts activities, seasonal parties, open mic nights, story slams, and more.
Funding was provided by the Community Fund and the Ruckert Family Fund of the Cape Cod Foundation, the Cape Cod Five Foundation, Cape Air, and the Yarmouth Substance Awareness Committee, enabling the Cultural Center to provide the program at no cost to participants.
“We’ve been very pleased to offer healthy and creative ways to have fun and engage in society,” Wolk says. “And we have welcomed the inclusion of friends and family who gain fresh and effective tools for helping those in recovery stay in recovery. But we also know that those who need this program most may be easily deterred by the need to travel a distance to reach us. And we know that our partners in the Quartet are working with the social services, as we are, to make sure that the arts are part of any solution to community problems. So we invited each of them to host two Sober Socials in 2018. We hope that those who have been unable to travel to the Cultural Center will join our “regulars” at these events, which will continue to be free and open to all.”
For information about start times and details of each event, please visit the websites of the Quartet organizations.
The schedule for the 2018 series is:
January 12: Falmouth Conservatory
February 23: Cotuit Center for the Arts
March 23: Cultural Center of Cape Cod
April 20: Falmouth Conservatory
May 11: Wellfleet Preservation Hall
June 8: Cultural Center of Cape Cod
July 13: Cultural Center of Cape Cod
August 10: Cultural Center of Cape Cod
September 21: Cotuit Center for the Arts
October 26: Wellfleet Preservation Hall
November 9: Cultural Center of Cape Cod
December 7: Cultural Center of Cape Cod