The theme of the International Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) this summer in Atlanta, Georgia, is “80 Years – Happy, Joyous and Free.” From July 2 through 5, 2015, members and guests from around the world gather to celebrate AA’s anniversary with marathon meetings, lectures, workshops and other events.
In keeping with the idea that recovery is an occasion to celebrate, Recovery Journeys, a nonprofit organization that helps local groups create events, is working with Sobriety Celebrations, a group committed to showcasing talented recovering people in local venues. They are planning an entertainment extravaganza, Celebrations of Recovery AAtlanta 2015, for attendees and their guests during the AA Convention.
This celebration’s theme of Joyful Recovery is personal for John Groman, the founder of Recovery Journeys. He shares, “The promise [of joyful recovery] came true for me, and this [celebration] is a fulfillment of that promise . . . so others can enjoy joyous recovery.”
Recovery Journeys, not affiliated with AA, shares this theme of hope as it encourages recovering musical, comedic and theatrical talents to get into the act; it’s a win-win for both the artists and the AA Convention guests. As Groman explains, “We don’t see the positive faces of recovery enough. These people want to pay their recovery experience forward, and they are just the tip of the iceberg.”
Celebrations’ roster of more than 40 entertainers will showcase the talents of many musicians, actors, performers and comedians – including Mark Lundholm and Alonzo Bodden. The event has intrigued members of the vibrant Atlanta entertainment community – local musicians and performance artists will be performing in support of the recovery cause. “We are overwhelmed by the generous support of the people of Atlanta and by the support of the entertainers,” remarked Fern Sheehy, Project Manager for Celebrations.
Celebrations of Recovery AAtlanta 2015 will occur in two impressive venues, the Rialto Center for the Arts at 80 Forsyth Street NW and the Balzer Theater at Herren’s at 84 Luckie Street NW. Recovery Journeys will kick off the celebration on June 29 and continue the festivities through the end of the AA Convention on July 5. The well-appointed theatres will provide visitors and local residents with a welcoming place to hang out with others in recovery and those who support recovery efforts. Celebrations will offer ongoing programs and access to exhibitors and entertainers.
The Recovery Journeys Café in the Rialto Theater’s opulent lobby will be open from June 30 through July 5. The café will offer meals and non-alcoholic refreshments. The proceeds from sales of café items will benefit the work of Recovery Journeys.
Theatrical productions will include the off-Broadway play Bill W. and Dr. Bob that explores the history of AA, Pass it On . . . An Evening with Bill W. and Dr. Bob and Our Experience Has Taught Us by Jackie B., which takes a deeper look at the often comical and sometimes tragic experiences that led to the adoption of the Twelve Traditions of AA. Several screenings of the award-winning documentary, The Anonymous People, will be presented with follow-up panel discussions. Recovering vocalists and a Passing the Message On workshop are also being planned.
Tickets may be purchased by visiting SobrietyCelebrations.com and clicking on the tickets tab. For more information about Recovery Journeys and the causes they support, visit recoveryjourneys.org. Donations are a great way to support this and other events. AA Convention volunteers may request complimentary tickets to the Tuesday, June 30 performances by sending an email with their valid convention ID to email@example.com.