180 turning jbj soulPHOTO - Pictured at the 180 Turning Lives Around/JBJ Soul Kitchen event are (from left) Dorothea Bon Jovi; former Ambassador to Germany and former 180 Board President Phil Murphy; Amanda’s Easel Program Coordinator Cindi Westendorf; and Tammy Murphy.

HAZLET, NJ – On Wednesday, October 16, just two weeks shy of the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, and in the middle of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, 180 Turning Lives Around, in partnership with the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen, unveiled an art exhibition entitled “The Ride: Stories of Survival,” at the Red Bank community restaurant.  

The sculptures were created by local residents who have survived domestic violence, Hurricane Sandy, or both, through 180 Turning Lives Around’s Amanda’s Easel Creative Arts Therapy Program.  “The Ride” is an exhibition about life’s ups and downs. The theme of a roller coaster depicts both the story of the local community over the past year, as well as an iconic Jersey Shore image from the storm.

“Each survivor’s personal journey is displayed in miniature with beads on their own track,” said Cindi Westendorf, LPC, ATR-BC, Amanda’s Easel Program Coordinator. “Survivors of a traumatic event often find themselves feeling as if they are going backward, slipping downhill or climbing forward to a successful end.”

Photographs of Sandy’s devastation and the NJ residents affected surround “The Ride” sculpture.  The inspiring images of neighbors helping neighbors after the storm mirrors the efforts that 180‘s trained trauma counselors provide when reaching out to help victims of domestic violence every day. 180's mission to end domestic violence in Monmouth County would not be possible without their skill and compassion. After Sandy, they were able to share that expertise with storm survivors, as well.

“Art is a healing tool. Through courage and strength, we come out on the other side of adversity,” continued Westendorf. “We are also proud to partner with Jon Bon Jovi’s Soul Kitchen to present this exhibit to the community. We share a common purpose to help our neighbors in need.”

For more information about 180 Turning Lives Around, call 732-264-4111 or visit www.180nj.org.

For more information about the JBJ Soul Kitchen, visit www.JBJSoulKitchen.org.