Hooked on Art Festival

Audrey White, Sandscript Author






This past weekend, the Hooked on Art Festival welcomed people to meander about 101 Broadway in Chesterton, which was covered in detailed art made by adults and children. The festival lasted from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and The Sandscript was able to speak with Mr. Kenny Furness, one of the head organizers of the festival.


“The program has been a great success and has been going on for 9 years, though last year it was canceled,” Furness explained.


The Hooked on Art Festival is a gathering of local artists who come together to heal through art. The festival is sponsored by Three20, a recovery community in Chesterton Indiana that helps those struggling with mental health, as well as substance abuse and offers an array of activities for those wanting to heal. People inside of tents, giving away flyers about mental health and recovery dotted downtown Chesterton in Thomas Centennial Park.


 Three20 offers healing through fitness, art, music, faith, and nutrition. Three20 offers instructor led courses with programs that utilize training and cycling to help participants heal. Included in the program is Ride For Recovery Cycling which uses outdoor and indoor cycling and supplies members with a Giant ATX mountain bike, though members may use their personal bikes. Another program featured with Three20 is Functional Fitness. This portion of the program helps people use strength training to improve muscles for day-to-day activities. The last portion of the fitness program is TRX Suspension Training. This training uses moves to increase core stability, as well as mobility and strength. Recovery can be promoted through exercise because exercise allows the brain to release chemicals that improve the brain’s production of new blood cells.  


Another way recovery can reach those in need at Three20 is through music. Three20 offers instructor-led courses, live performances completed with instruments, gear, as well as opportunities to record. Classes relating to recording hone in on audio and stage equipment, as well as the basics for recording. Members in this class will be able to practice such skills to become independent when creating music. Three20 also provides music lessons and open mic events. Members are able to visit Three20’s open studio for personal projects, practicing musical skills, or learning songs. Through playing musical instruments, the chemical dopamine can be produced which is important for health benefits of the mind.


Three20 suggests art to aid inner conflicts and lessen anxiety. With courses led by instructors, therapy through DIY workshops, guest artist training, and collaborative projects are proposed. Weekly artistic sessions attribute to experience in painting, apparel printing, and ceramics. In DIY workshops, members are encouraged to learn techniques step by step regarding a variety of art projects. Members make their own art and are free to take their piece home with them. For collaborative projects, members are able to include their specialized style within community-wide projects that are designed over a period time. As for the guest artistic training, members acquire the trade of art through a hands-on environment. Members are able to check out any tools and or equipment they might need, and are able to purchase materials. The brain is able to create new connections when pathways are altered, which the arts contribute to.


Another form of recovery and therapy encouraged by Three20 is faith. Feelings of affiliation and acceptance help to aid those on the road to recovery. While meals are an additional cost, all are welcome as people come together for meals and community which is used as a source of support and strength amidst recovery- regardless of membership. One hour biblical study and discussion centered around 12 recovery principles are led by experienced facilitators. Those facing anxiety and depression may turn to faith to heal.


Three20 also presents nutrition as another form of healing and rehabilitation. Offered at Three20 are cooking classes and culinary gatherings. The three nutrition programs available are cooking classes, meal planning, and nutritional education. In the given cooking class, demonstrations with hands-on encounters allow participants to increase capability in the kitchen and encourage health. At the Three20 Café, health and well-being is foremost- the café exemplifies this by using homegrown herbs in the served food. Another program concerning nutrition is meal planning. The aim of the workshop is to advise members when budgeting, planning, and creating a healthy diet specific to their individual person. When learning about meal planning during the program, trips to farms and markets are included. As for the final program relating to nutrition, is nutritional education. Those learning about nutrition learn how eating well is needed for good mental health and energy. In this program, participants are able to learn about how the body is affected by nutrients and vitamins and how such things are needed in order to execute proper functions.


 Additionally, I spoke with Mr. Jason Gast, an art teacher at Chesterton Middle School. When asked about the event, he revealed that, “‘Hooked on Art festival started by what used to be called Frontline Foundations, which is now Three20 Recovery. They deal with people recovering from drug, alcohol issues and mental health issues. It’s all about growth and mindset. We participated with it for the entire time it’s been a thing, so like 8 or 9 years now.”


     Gast further disclosed, “So the stuff I brought out today to display and to sell is of people who have passed away or have dealt with issues. And we’re doing Prince who died from an overdose. So it’s all in the theme of all that they’re for.” 

     After mentioning I admired his work on a Robin Williams’ painting, Mr. Jason Gast imparted, “So yeah, with Robin I did the blue stripe to show the inner sadness that he had and the colorful outward happiness that he displayed so it’s kind of a play on his mindset.’”


During the event, 105 S Calumet Rd was blocked off so participants could create art inside 6×6 (for adults) and 4×4 (for children) squares. A live band played upbeat music inside of the gazebo, thus adding to the jubilance of the Saturday afternoon. Tents were set up near the gazebo for the event and offered free sunglasses, bracelets, and flyers regarding Three20 and recovery needs. Occurring at the same time as the Hooked on Art Festival, was the weekly European Market which featured numerous vendors. 


Three20 extends their services furthermore with free recovery coaching services. Whether the meetings are online, through the telephone, or in-person, recovery is open to all. If you are in need of help, please contact Three20 at 219-238-6840, 320recovery.com, or [email protected] or visit 320 South Calumet Rd. Chesterton, IN 46304.


Information credited to Three20 Recovery Community Booklet