August 19, 2022

Register to be Part of Lyme-Old Lyme’s First, Open Invitational Cabaret + Art Expo—a Collaborative, Youth-Driven Project to be Held Sept. 23 

LYSB, Lyme Academy of Art, LOLPC, Youth Advisory Council, and REACH  Team Up to Host Inclusive Event to Address LOL Community’s Well-being, Mental Health

OLD LYME — Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau is collecting creative works from folks of all ages in the community—whether your form of expression is visual art, music, dance, theatrical art, or written/spoken word—to share at an exhibit at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts on Sept. 23, 2022.

REACH and the Youth Advisory Council are two groups of youth leaders that are involved in many innovative programs and activities at Lymes’ Youth Serice Bureau (LYSB.)  Their dedication to youth-empowerment and -advocacy is inspiring them to join hands with the community to address the local community’s well-being and mental health.  

Students involved in these two organizations report high levels of stress and anxiety among their peers and are fully aware of the direct relationship between substance misuse and mental health.   

Recent Youth Survey Data indicates that 70 percent of Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) students in grades 7-12 report feeling stressed, 60 percent feeling anxious, and 28 percent feeling so sad and hopeless that it impacts daily activities. 

In an effort to connect people of all ages around mental health and how community can come together to support each other, SHOWUP was born. readers are  now invited to consider joining hands with LOL Youth to make this event a huge success for all.

Through your creativity, the organizers want to know what is on your mind, what keeps you up at night, what helps you escape your fears, and what strategies help you to sleep peacefully. Since these coping methods may range from meditative processes to substance use, the organizers are intentionally creating a safe, non-judgmental space for the display of this work—for example, you will be able to submit your work anonymously if you prefer.

Alli Behnke, MSW, LYSB’s Prevention Coordinator, who is one of the lead organizers, comments enthusiastically, “From the pieces already seem, there is more that connects us than we could ever have imagined—we are excited to share contributions to this event with our towns.”

In the words of a REACH Youth Coalition member, “Please join us! We are reaching out to youth and adults during a challenging time in history and hoping we can come together to listen, understand, support, and celebrate lived experience and need.”

The work collected will be displayed for one great night at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts. There will be gallery displays, performances, and food on the premises.

During the event, the organizers will share the digital archive of all the submitted work and provide a link to purchase a tabletop book of the art.

Everyone at LYSB is excited for the opportunity to spend an evening talking with our community to share feelings and experiences with each other. 

As space is limited, reserve your place by registering today.


Visit to learn more and make a submission and/or visit to hear straight from LOL High School students about the event.

Contact Alli Behnke, MSW, LYSB Prevention Coordinator with any questions at