Gaynelle Gosselin said she was inspired to curate the performance piece, called “State of Emergency,” after seeing The Palm Beach Post’s Generation Heroin special section on Nov. 20.
The newspaper’s front page that day included the faces off all 216 people who died of an accidental opioid-related overdose in Palm Beach County in 2015.
Scattered among the verses is a reading of names of lives lost to addiction and overdose.
Local actor and recovery advocate Gary Kimble will be performing the verse, while James Fata, local recovery advocate and chapter lead for Young People In Recovery lists the names of those we have lost.
Gosselin, co-Founder of See Change Dance will dance in remembrance. Community members are invited to participate and hold banners inscribed with a name and a memory of someone they’ve lost to substance use disorder and/or accidental overdose.
The intent, Gosselin said, is to humanize an epidemic that killed nearly 600 people in Palm Beach County last year as well as thousands across the United States.
“These are people, not statistics,’’ she said. “Their lives matter. The performance is a call to compassionate action toward stopping this modern day plague.’’
The festival starts at noon and ends at 10 p.m., said organizer Rolando Chang Barrero.