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The Sharadin CREATIVE ROYALE

Hosted by: Kutztown University: Health Promotion and AOD Services, President's Roundtable on Alcohol & Other Drugs and Communication Design Dept

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How does underage drinking and substance misuse affect your community?

Statistically, colleges and universities tend to have high rates of underage drinking and alcohol misuse due to the university culture and setting. Because of that, we plan prevention events that will pique students’ interest in a creative way and de-normalize harmful alcohol use that is typically seen on college campuses nationwide.  

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How did a Communities Talk event help you address those issues?

  • Built community cohesiveness and support for our efforts
  • Created an opportunity to share resources and practices with other community stakeholders
  • Made making good health behavior choices fun and engaging
  • Raised awareness of substance abuse and/or underage drinking issues in our community
  • We were able to work with a population that is underserved, the art community on campus. Also local businesses and artists participated to support the students.
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Which Communities Talk resources (or other SAMHSA resources) were most helpful for your activity?

  • StopAlcoholAbuse.gov website
  • Communities Talk planning guides
  • Communities Talk toolkits
  • Communities Talk e-Alerts
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How did your event make an impact on underage drinking in your community?

We infused art with our town hall meeting, which allowed 60 artists to participate in a live exercise to create art that illustrated how alcohol has impacted their lives. After the exercise, we held a guided mediation and discussed how alcohol misuse and dependency impacts people differently. We also made alcohol screenings available for the artists and other meeting participants, with about 25 of our 100 total attendees volunteering to be screened. Participants received local resources, and we encouraged them to continue the conversation about alcohol misuse in their own circles after the meeting.

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What other challenge(s) did you face in planning your activity this year?

  • We had to limit involvement from artists wanting to participate due to meeting logistics and funding (we relied heavily on donations to accommodate our artists). Although we capped our artist participation at 60, we had interest from more artists whom we wish we could have accommodated.
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How did you overcome these challenges?

We hope to host the event again next year and secure additional funding so that we don’t have to limit artist involvement.

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What are your next steps?

  • Host follow-up meetings or activities
  • Expand our coalition with new partnerships in the community
  • Art was displayed on campus and at community locations. Also there were local blogs that wrote about the event.

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