O P E N  D O O R S  supports the creativity and leadership of people who have been harmed by gun violence and inspires action for safer, more just communities.


Reality Poet Ramon "King Tito Love" Cruz  (image courtesy of Eric Fernandez)

OPEN DOORS is an arts and justice initiative, on Roosevelt Island, based in the long-term care facility where many members live and work. Collaborating with established artists, members use storytelling, hip-hop and spoken word to challenge audiences to combat the injustice that breeds violence in our cities. 

OPEN DOORS returns to the NYC neighborhoods where members grew up to inform young people about rarely considered consequences of gun violence, and to encourage them to become positive change makers.

OPEN DOORS equips members with tools to manage their individual and collective art careers. Each member plays a unique role in the initiative. Holding a stylus in his mouth, LeVar Lawrence, an OPEN DOORS designer, transforms photos into striking images like the ones available for purchase in the Gallery

OPEN DOORS Reality Poets appear at venues around NYC, and have produced the poetry anthology, Wheeling & Healing. Join OPEN DOORS for the launch party at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe on Monday, March 11 at 7pm!


Reality Poet LeVar Lawrence (image courtesy of Eric Fernandez)

Only if he had raised his arm about an inch or two / I wouldn’t have to be telling my story to you 
I can’t even teach my son how to play ball / Or pick up and run if he needs me at the drop of a call 
Is this a punishment for all the wrong that I did? / Now I’ve been sentenced to this wheelchair doing a life-sentence bid 

Excerpt from Just My Thoughts by LeVar Lawrence


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