Break the Silence

Apr 19, 2022

Messages of strength, hope, and healing adorned t-shirts painted by residents of Broadway House for Continuing Care as part of the Clothesline Project. A visual display of statistics that often go ignored, the nationwide initiative increases awareness of violence and abuse, honors the strength of survivors, memorializes victims, and provides an outlet for healing.

Board-certified Art Therapist Cheryl Morse, MA, ATR-BC, LAC, introduced the Clothesline Project at Broadway House earlier this year to provide an outlet for residents to explore how domestic violence has touched their lives. The t-shirts, decorated with poignant artwork and messages, were displayed on a clothesline in the Broadway House rotunda to represent residents, family members, or friends who have been impacted by abuse.

“This was a very meaningful project for many of our residents,” Ms. Morse explains. “Some chose to use images provided by The Clothesline Project that resonated with them. Others used their own ideas, words, and images. They were very engaged, and their message is so strong.”

When selecting projects for residents, Ms. Morse considers how therapy can help them confront challenges including violence, homelessness, illness, substance abuse, and mental health issues. “These are therapeutic activities, not just arts and crafts to keep busy,” she says.

5 Things to Know About:

Cheryl Morse, MA, ATR-BC, LAC

  1. A board-certified Art Therapist, she is a graduate of Caldwell University and earned a master’s degree in counseling with specialization in art therapy.
  2. As an undergraduate, she attended a Day of Service at Broadway House: “I knew I wanted to work here if I ever got the chance.”
  3. She recently heard that Broadway House was hiring a new art therapist—and with her college Day of Service in mind—applied. She joined the Broadway House staff in February.
  4. She has also worked in behavioral health at Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville and Bridge Imani Center in Irvington.
  5. Her goal: To provide residents with meaningful projects that support the healing process. Ms. Morse says, “When people work on something over a longer time, together we can address deeper levels of the subject matter. That helps to promote healing.”