Press Releases

February 9, 2014

Artreach, Inc. receives $10,000 grant to fund Story Pirates project

Artreach, Inc. of Norwich, CT has received a matching grant of $10,000 from the Connecticut Office of the Arts, a state agency. This grant was awarded to fund Artreach’s new Story Pirates Residency and Performance Pilot Study with Young Adults.

Artreach is a nonprofit organization serving the Norwich community with classes and performance opportunities as a way to recover from psychiatric symptoms. Artreach’s mission is to use the creative and performing arts to educate, entertain, create social change, and support sustainable recovery from mental illnesses. Through Artreach’s classes and performances, community partnerships are built, stigma about mental illnesses melts away, and actors and singers develop friendships, self-esteem and artistic skills.

This grant will be used to fund the new residency of the Story Pirates, an arts education and media company from New York City and Los Angeles. They will be hosting writing workshops at Artreach for local young adults beginning mid-late February. The writing produced at these workshops will be turned into performance material for the Story Pirates. In late March, the Story Pirates will return to perform their new show at the local Donald Oat Theater. This event will introduce adults age 18-26 to the work of Artreach and get them more involved.

Artreach is accepting donations to match 50% of the $10,000 grant. For more information on Artreach or how you can support its community efforts, please visit or call Event Marketer Kat Brannan-Williams at (646) 239-2780.

November 12, 2013

All For Your Delight Holiday Show

NORWICH: Artreach, Incorporated presents The Second Step Player’s annual holiday show All for Your Delight, a program of original comedy, puppetry, poetry, and song celebrating and poking fun at the winter season, December 18, 19, 20 and 21, 7:30 PM at The Donald Oat Theatre, 62 Broadway in Norwich, CT. Tickets are $10 general admission, $20 front of house, or $30 VIP, and are available in advance at Call 860-887-1896 for more information.

All for Your Delight is directed by Kato McNickle, and features a collaborative mix of new work created by a diverse set of writers including Sam Bliven, Darcy Parker Bruce, Dylan Croft, Georgina Escobar, F Jacob Kaeser, Zuleika Simon, and Becca Atkins. Several pieces will feature puppets and masks created by Daniel Potter from the Mystic Paper Beasts.

Artreach, Incorporated Executive Director Becca Atkins is excited about the holiday show, “Everyone has enjoyed Kato’s creative process, from the writing classes in the early stages, to the theater games for increasing body awareness, to the rehearsals that began in October. The show is a delightful mash-up of pieces – funny, poignant, visually stimulating – I can’t wait for people to experience it.”

All proceeds from this event support the arts, health, and wellness programs administered by Artreach, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to providing artistic opportunities to adults who have experienced psychiatric disorders. The Second Step Players are Artreach, Inc.’s stigma-busting theater troupe. Members write and perform conscious comedy and music to facilitate social change by increasing understanding about people who have mental health issues. For more information about Artreach and The Second Players, visit, or follow ArtreachHeals on Facebook or Twitter.

September 17, 2013

Grammy Nominated Lauren Agnelli Leads Songwriting for Social Change

Artreach Members, Professional Songwriters, and Community Collaborate

Artreach, Inc.’s Songwriting for Social Change Project is a yearlong series of events dedicated to giving a voice to the voiceless through music. Music has traditionally been used to create social change. In this project, people who have psychiatric disorders are working alongside CT songwriters and community members to create songs with a meaningful message

Artreach Executive Director Rebecca Atkins describes music as a way of life. A bass & guitar player, songwriter, and personal music lover, Atkins states, “Music inspires people. When they sing along, the message really sinks in.”

The upcoming Songwriting for Social Change events on September 27th and 28th include a concert on the 27th at 7:30, and a songwriting class on the 28th from 11 am – 2 pm. Both events will be held at the Donald Oat Theater, which is located at 62 Broadway in Norwich, CT.

The concert features Grammy Nominated singer-songwriter Lauren Agnelli, with guest violinist Dana Takaki. Lauren’s pivotal and most popular work happened when she formed neo-beatnik folksters The Washington Squares in 1983, spearheading the ‘80’s folk revival. From 2007 to 2012, she wrote and performed with the Small Town Concert Series, co-founded with her husband, Matthew Male. In 2013, she is completing two new collections of original songs. Agnelli will also be leading the songwriting event.

Artreach’s “Songwriting for Social Change” project is presented with support from the Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Artreach, Inc. provides artistic opportunities in theater, music, and writing for adults who have psychiatric disorders. The Second Step Players, Artreach’s stigma-busting theater troupe, writes and performs conscious comedy and music to create social change by increasing understanding about people who have mental health issues. Check out Artreach’s website at;, and

Tickets are $15 for each event. To purchase concert tickets online, go to For the songwriting class, go to Tickets may be reserved by calling Artreach at 860-887-0014.

If you would like more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Rebecca Atkins at 860-887-0014 or email