Healing Newtown Through Arts and Athletics

Oct 10, 2013

Credit Josiah Mackenzie / Flickr Creative Commons

Thousands of runners are expected to participate in Saturday’s ING Hartford marathon (or half-marathon). Among them will be 26 members of Newtown’s 12/14 Foundation Marathon Team. They want to bring attention to their mission: to build a landmark performing arts center in memory of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Dr. Sarah Baroody organized the Newtown team. She spoke with WNPR’s Diane Orson:

"On the day of the tragedy I feel like humanity itself was called into question. Not only do we want to say, with a resounding voice, this is not okay with us, but we want to respond by saying there is light. There is joy. There is beauty. For us, love is an action. And the 12/14 Foundation is taking action, building this landmark performing arts center, not only as an expression of how we feel, a tribute to those who were lost, but also as a center for enrichment for the community, for Newtown and to the world.

"When you bring a child in to do a performance and they are the artist, they feel really good. They feel really proud of their accomplishment if they’re pushed to do something. And on the side, a few of us turned to each other and thought, 'This is kind of how we feel after we’ve accomplished a goal in athletics, or we’ve hit another milestone in terms of running.'

"When you accomplish something, when you put your mind to something, and you work hard at it, there’s an internal healing, a transformation that takes place. I mean this is true for performing arts, athletics and other areas of life."